Regenerative strategies for climate justice
The starting-point for this paper is a growing concern about the strong and creative tension between what is global and what is local in the context of climate change and food systems. The global expression is undoubtedly powerful, based on large-scale, resource-intensive, agribusiness enterprises operating globally and seeking continued international expansion. But a tide is rising, which is reinforcing the local manifestation and provoking a strengthened commitment to local food systems while enhancing the resilience to climate change. Tragically it is those who have contributed the least to green house gas emissions who are suffering the worst effects of climate change. This paper will feature a project in the Koraput district of the state of Odisha in India, where 70% of the population is dependent on agriculture in a region where late and erratic Monsoon rains are impacting the course of farming. The region is known for its abundance of paddy fields as well as many varieties of millets, yam, and tuber crops, which are gradually vanishing due to the introduction of cash crops and GM seeds, and the increasing impact of climate change. The constant change in the environment of tribal communities in the region creates an imperative for constant learning. In this context the paper will analyse a project-based-learning and grass-roots campaign ‘Grow your own Food’ led by the tribal Women’s Federation Orissa Nari Samaj, and the local NGO THREAD, to counteract the so called “Climate-Smart Agriculture” (CSA) techniques. CSA in the region is encouraging the use of modified seeds, chemical pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers, as well as high-risk technologies such as synthetic biology, and geo-engineering. This imposition of new biotechnology has been particularly damaging for the local farmers. The paper will analyse how new climate resilient agriculture approaches combined with traditional ways of food growing and drought tolerant plants are improving the productivity of their soils and the nutrition of their meals. The paper concludes by considering the role of Education for Sustainable Development in supporting indigenous communities in climate-vulnerable regions to develop locally adapted agro-ecological responses, while attempting to address the deeper structural changes needed to tackle the root causes of poverty and climate change in the Global South.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (2004) Globalization of food systems in developing countries: Impact on food security and nutrition. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 83; Rome
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (2014) Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture Systems: SAFA Guidelines, Version 3.0; Rome
Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum International Publishing Group, Inc.; New York
Gliessman, S.R. (2014) Agroecology: The Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems, Third Edition. CRC Press; Boca Raton, FL.
Goma, H.C., Rahim, K., Nangendo, G., Riley, J. & Stein, A. (2001) Participatory studies for agro-ecosystem evaluation. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 87, 179-190
Mare, C., East, M. (2016) Community-based Solutions to Locally-sourced Food Production Systems Featuring the Revival of Indigenous Knowledge, Fourth Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD), New York
Mishra, P. (2014), Agricultural Economy, Incentive Structure and Environmental Sustainability, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar
Norberg-Hodge, H., Merrifield, T. & Gorelick, S. (2002) Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness. Zed Books; London
Panigrahi, J. K. (2016), Coastal Ecosystems of Odisha – Health and Nutritional Challenges Consequent to Climate Change, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Odisha
Patel A. M., Jha M. K, (2007) Weapons of the Weak - Field Studies on Claims to Social Justice in Bihar & Orissa. Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, Kolkata, India
Patnaik, B. K. (2016), Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture with Reference to Odisha, Special Issue on Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Odisha
Pretty, J.N. (1995) Participatory learning for sustainable agriculture. World Development, Vol. 23, No. 8, 1247-1263
Pretty, J., editor (2005) The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Agriculture. Earthscan Publications, Ltd.; London
Satpathy, S. S. (2016) An Overview on Agriculture Budget of Odisha, Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Odisha
Shiva, V. (2000) Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply. South End Press; Cambridge, MA
Smith, P. & Gregory, P.J. (2013) Climate change and sustainable food production. Proceedings of the Nut¬rition Society, Vol. 72, 21-28
Specter, M. (2014) Seeds of Doubts. Annals of Science, The New Yorker
World Bank. (2016). Odisha - Poverty, growth and inequality. India state briefs. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
The original submitted version of the manuscript (the version that has not undergone peer review) may be posted at any time. Authors should disclose details of preprint posting, including DOI, upon submission of the manuscript to ECOCYCLES.
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. LICENCE: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)