Project

Agroecology: on the boundaries between nature, science, and society

It is increasingly recognised that the technologies and farm prescriptions promoted under the Green Revolution are responsible for many contemporary societal and environmental problems. Underlying these problems, and inherent in Green Revolution technologies and prescriptions, is the separation, or the boundaries, between nature and (agri)culture and between local and scientific knowledge. Both agroecology and the ecosystem services (ES) approach have sought to overcome these boundaries. The objective of this research is to contribute to the understanding of how ES and agroecology bridge the boundaries between nature and agriculture and between science and local knowledge. We have chosen a case study in the Zona da Mata Mineira, Brazil, where an alliance consisting of farmer organisations, an NGO, and the Federal University of Vi├žosa that is active in three socio-material realities (farming practice, movement and science) has promoted agroecology for almost 30 years. To achieve the main objective, the project addresses the following research questions: 1) How do ES and agroecology bridge the boundary between nature and culture? 2) How do ES and agroecology bridge the boundary between scientific and local knowledge? 3) How are boundaries made and overcome in different socio-material realities?