Gender focus and feminist perspective

To date, research, public policies and interventions in adaptation to climate change have focused on a technocratic management based on natural science studies. This approximation doesn’t consider climate change as an object of research multifaceted, socio-politic and contested. Similarly, it doesn’t take into account that communities and individuals negotiate strategies responding to multiple and concurrent socio-economic, political, cultural and environmental drivers of changes.

In AGATA, research perspectives from a new feminist political ecology and a feminist critical epistemology converge to enquiry adaptation and its knowledge construction. We propose a focus based on situated knowledge, daily practices and experiences and intersectionality that help to reframe the debate on climate change and adaptation. Additionally, a new feminist perspective claims in AGATA for a pluralism of epistemology and trasdisciplinary methodologies.

Traditional and Local Ecological Knowledge

Local and Traditional Knowledge (LTK) refers to the know-how accumulated across generations, which guides human societies in their interactions with their environment.  LTK is the basis for local-level decision-making in many rural communities and has been highlighted by the IPCC as a potential tool to promote adaptation to climate change and by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as complementary and enriching to other knowledge systems.

AGATA project explores the conservation, management and transmission of LTKAF in agricultural and pastoral systems of marginal mountain areas and its dynamic role in responding to climate change.


Adaptation of agrifood systems to climate change

In Mediterranean region climate change severely threatens local agrifood systems, especially in marginal rural areas. Climate change acts in most of case as a concomitant factor, adding negative impacts to those mainly related to other direct or indirect global change drivers, such as social and cultural changes (e.g. changes in rural lifestyle, dietary habits, knowledge systems and cultural identities), social-economic changes (e.g. rural abandonment, economic crisis and consequent unemployment, economic subsidies) and environmental changes (e.g. land use changes). Though climate change is a global problem that needs solutions at different geographic scales, the IPCC (2014) stresses the need to pay more attention to local experiences, knowledge systems, institutions and practices to respond to climate change. The purpose is thus to promote changes towards transformational adaptation for social-ecological sustainability, that is, adaptation that changes the fundamental attributes of the system (IPCC 2014: Glossary), which includes, among other options, the introduction of new practices and knowledge, and the formation of new institutions or systems of governance with the final purpose of achieving social needs. However, the implications of the gendered nature of knowledge, practices and institutions have been neglected in climate change policies and insufficiently addressed by research.

AGATA project investigates novel knowledge systems, practices and institutional-political arrangements that are influencing transformational adaptation to climate change in marginal mountain agri-food systems in Mediterranean contexts.