Day 4 - Monday, September 28, 2004
Today's theme was ´Mobilizing Community EcoAgriculture'. Discussions started with recognizing the many participants who spent the weekend at the Community Shamba sharing their insights on community-led ecoagriculture. The group spent time introducing themselves and the projects on which they work. After introductions, the group delved directly into discussions on the Plenary Presentation made by Gladman Chibememe (CHIEHA Group in Zimbabwe) on Monday about the outcomes from the Community Shamba weekend discussions. The group examined the values and principles upon which communities are engaging in ecoagriculture and debated both capacity development needs at the community levels, and the types of interventions required to deepen support to local level action.
After lunch, discussions started with four presentations from Farhad Mazhar (UBINIG in Bangladesh); Peryapatan Satheesh (Deecan Development Society in India); Erick Fernandez (World Bank); and Walter Lusigi (Global Environment Facility).
The first two presentations landscaped some of the outstanding work that is demonstrating that communities have a sophisticated understanding of ecoagriculture and are involved in comprehensive peer-to-peer learning initiatives. The presentations demonstrated the depth of possibility that ecoagriculture offers, and pointed to key areas where strategic partnership are required, such as between community/researchers; community/policy makers; and community led business.
The second two presentations outlined some of the profound challenges that remain in terms of creating policy and institutional frameworks that will support community led ecoagriculture. They spoke to severe land degradation, drylands, unsustainable resource exploitation and well as social, policy and institutional challenges that hinder investment in land and ecosystem restoration.
Shamba participants then formed breakout groups to discuss the presentations, and identify key actionable items that recognize both the opportunities for ecoagriculture and the global challenges we are facing.
The day closed with a very inspiring Community Celebration in the Community Shamba. Hosted by the Equator Initiative, the evening highlighted how communities as far afield as Honduras, India, Kenya, Mongolia, the Philippines and Senegal are exploring how ecoagriculture offers innovative solutions that conserve biodiversity, while helping eradicate poverty and enhance social and cultural objectives.