Knowledge for better food systems

Ecoagriculture Discussion Paper: Pathways to collaborative action - transforming agricultural, land and food systems

This discussion paper introduces ideas on how to manage and improve cross-sectoral collaborative action addressing sustainability challenges. It highlights how complex non-linear linkages exist between food, agricultural, and land systems and it looks at the question of how stakeholders can collaborate and how to improve the effectiveness of cross-sectoral collaborations.

This discussion paper introduces ideas on how to manage and improve cross-sectoral collaborative action addressing sustainability challenges. It highlights how complex non-linear linkages exist between food, agricultural, and land systems and it looks at the question of how stakeholders can collaborate and how to improve the effectiveness of cross-sectoral collaborations.

It is both a guide and a call to action, and drawing on both theory and practical experience it aims to inspire with the possibilities of taking cross-sectoral collaborative action to break away from the mindset of 'business as usual'.

It covers issues such as structure, governance, institutional barriers, the need to create the space for innovation, the ability to manage conflict and compromise, and the time it takes to create trust among participants. It argues that greater focus is needed on possible pathways for scaling up collaborative action – to take forward the concept and apply it in practice. It recommends that we focus on identifying priorities for change, different ways of conceptualizing challenges and the means to develop new collaborative efforts within and across organizations.

Citation as follows

McKenzie, F., 2013, Pathways to collaborative action: transforming agricultural, land and food systems, Ecoagriculture Discussion Paper No. 10. EcoAgriculture Partners

EcoAgriculture Partners is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting innovators from the agriculture, conservation, and rural development sectors to strengthen and scale up their ecoagriculture management approaches.

You can read more about their work here and you can download the report here.

A short blog post on this paper can also be found here.

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Global

While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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