Information – The FFC Bulletin – 2016 V3 July
Report on Indigenous Agroecology
This report edited by Dr Marion Johnson of the FFC and Chris Perley of Thoughtscapes looked at how mātauranga Māori (Māori traditional knowledge) and Totohungatanga Moriori (Moriori traditional knowedge) can inform and generate innovation in farm practices.
Agroecology in its simplest terms reconnects ecology to agriculture and to the people that draw their livelihoods from the land. He Ahuwhenua Taketake, Indigenous Agroecology, weaves Maori and Moriori ways of seeing with agroecology to create a land management paradigm for Aotearoa New Zealand.
This report illustrates some of the areas of knowledge that are important to agroecology. It also highlights the necessity of farmers, whanau and specialists talking, working and adapting together for a common good. Agroecology by necessity is complex, the land is complex. There is no universal recipe as each farm is individual but there a series of principles which can guide land management decisions. This document is only a beginning, making a contribution to the development of an alternative land management paradigm in Aotearoa New Zealand and providing a catalyst and context for dialogue and change.
The report begins by introducing the concepts of Agroecology and Indigenous Agroecology framed for Aotearoa New Zealand. Traditional land managements are explored as is the use of geographical information systems and visualisation to aid discussions of change. Indigenous Agroecology requires a meeting of local culture and science so the challenges for communities in working with Mātauranga Māori and Science are discussed as are the problems faced by indigenous communities in retaining the participation of youth. We depend on healthy water ways, healthy livestock and a broad diversity to support our lands and livelihoods, the multiple roles played by native plants in farm systems are enumerated and the problems of pollution and possibilities of bioremediation debated. Two final chapters illustrate the suggestions for local applications of Ahuwhenua Taketake on research link farms.
Agroecology has been endorsed internationally by the United Nations and others, as ‘the means by which we can mitigate climate change, rural equity, the various degrading environmental functions, as well as increase local food production’. Aotearoa New Zealand has an opportunity to embrace change, to safeguard our soils, water and biodiversity and to produce healthy nutrient dense food for local and export markets.
The Indigenous Agroecology, He Ahuwhenua Taketake, programme was developed and led by Dr Marion Johnson and funded by Nga pae o te Maramatanga.
Please do contact Marion, [email protected] for any further information.
We have a limited numbers of hard copies available; please email Marion with your postal address.