Spread AE: Responding to New Challenges
Association Ecology Technology and Culture in the Andes (ETC Andes)
Project is not designed to be executed in association with other organization. Contact with some networks of interest will be promoted, i.e., the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA), “Cencalli: Casa del maíz y la cultura alimentaria" in Mexico, Institute for Ecosystems and Sustainability Research of the University of Mexico (UNAM), Environmental Geography Research Center (CIGA) at UNAM, Michoacán University of San Nicolás of Hidalgo, regional center of Chapingo Autonomous University; NGOs such as MILPA AC and CONACYT networks, COEECI thematic group “Food Sovereignty and Family Farming SAAF,” Conveagro, ONVEAGRO, Bolivian Agroecological Movement, agriculture network created by ILEIA, magazines Agriculturas in Brazil and LEISA India, and CIDSE
Community of Practice:
LEISA agroecology magazine has until recently been a quarterly publication disseminating experiences carried out by/with family producers on farms with an agroecological or sustainable agriculture approach. First appearing in 1996, LEISA became a digital open-access magazine in 2012. Its website (leisa-al.org) averages 35,000 monthly visits. LEISA also maintains a presence on Facebook, with more than 24,000 followers and a constantly updated subscriber database of more than 13,000 records.
According to a 2019 survey answered by 1,377 people and published on the website, 72 percent of LEISA readers are technical field staff, teachers, and researchers. Institutional managers/administrators, students, and farmers (5 percent) compose the remaining 28 percent. This helps ETC Andes expand, elaborate on, and disseminate AE information according to differentiated contexts and target audiences, keeping LEISA magazine as its axis while simultaneously seeking the most appropriate media.
Beyond being a means of dissemination, LEISA is a platform for discussing and exchanging AE experiences and knowledge by a wide network of collaborators (both at international and national levels, from the academic world and NGOs) that has been woven throughout LEISA’s history.
Contact exists and will be explored with networks or organizations such as Agriculturas magazine in Brazil, a former member of Red Agriculturas (initially a network of magazines promoted by ILEIA and currently part of a group of independent publications); Soberanía Alimentaria journal in Spain; the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA); family farming working groups in Peru and other Latin American countries; networks of universities and educational institutions; and the Andes CoP supported by McKnight.
For LEISA to continue expanding its impact, it must start a process of reflection and dialogue within the network to adapt to current challenges—multidimensional crises, war, climate change, and misinformation, among others—as well as to the multiplicity and diversity of AE actors. ETC Andes and close collaborators initiated this process in 2020. The organization’s situation began to be discussed through redefinition of its mission and vision and the elaboration of an adequate strategic path. This is especially necessary after LEISA founder and main editor Teresa Gianella’s death in 2021.
To overall goal is to strengthen LEISA magazine and its ETC Andes team as a platform for knowledge co-generation and dissemination of information from the diversity of actors in family farming and Latin American AE
Additionally, the project seeks to:
- Reorganize the team internally.
- Establish alliances and strengthen collaborative networks with diversity of actors building AE in different territories.
- Strengthen LEISA as platform for discussion, research, and co-creation of knowledge in AE through dynamization of dialogue and exchange process based on LEISA subscriber database.
Outputs and Outcomes:
- Project theory of change
- Creation of advisory board
- Production of at least four issues of LEISA magazine, most through co-financing with organizations or groups interested in producing an issue (e.g., SOCLA, Agrowork Project of the University of Bern)
- At least seven online sessions/conferences on articles published in LEISA magazine
- Production of at least 14 videos and/or podcasts and other materials developed from interactions on Dgroups platform
One session could potentially focus on contributing to generation of proposals or regulations related to AE-based family farming in Peru and in another Latin American country to be defined.
- ETC Andes team strengthened and trained in new tools for dissemination and co-creation of AE knowledge
- LEISA magazine strengthened and impact broadened as platform for disseminating information and sharing knowledge among diversity of AE actors and Latin American small-scale family farming