Agroecology as a pathway to resilience justice: peasant movements and collective action in the Niayes coastal region of Senegal

Boillat, Sébastien; Bottazzi, Patrick (2020). Agroecology as a pathway to resilience justice: peasant movements and collective action in the Niayes coastal region of Senegal. International journal of sustainable development & world ecology, pp. 1-16. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/13504509.2020.1758972

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In semi-arid sub-Saharan Africa, farming populations face harsh climatic conditions but also very unequal and dynamic social processes that affect their resilience. This study addresses aspects of power and social justice related to the social-ecological system of the Niayes coastal region of Senegal and examines the potential of agroecology to improve the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers. We performed a knowledge co-production process with a local farmer union to identify the main social-ecological nexuses that matter for smallholder farmers, their dynamics and the influence of powerful actors and institutions on them. We also look at the potential actions of the farmer union under the banner of agroecology to transform these dynamics. We found that social-ecological dynamics involve reinforcing feedback loops that undermine the resilience of smallholder farmers and that powerful actors such as agribusinesses have a strong influence on these processes. Union actions promoting agroecology have enhanced system thinking and related solutions, but observed social justice claims are very recent and have a limited scope. Our findings expand the notion of resilience grabbing, understood as the undermining of resilience through the loss of commons, to include systemic degradations due to direct and indirect actions of involved stakeholders. We also propose to expand the notion of resilience justice vertically, integrating procedural and recognition justice, and horizontally, integrating linked social-ecological issues. We conclude that agroecology can become a transformative bridge from resilience grabbing to resilience justice, but must be more sensitive to power relations, in particular around labour.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Boillat, Sébastien and Bottazzi, Patrick

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1350-4509

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sébastien Boillat

Date Deposited:

16 Jun 2020 15:44

Last Modified:

18 Jun 2020 11:57

Publisher DOI:

10.1080/13504509.2020.1758972

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Agroecology; environmental justice; social-ecological system; transformation knowledge; resiliencegrabbing; resilience justice; Niayes; Senegal

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.144628

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/144628

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