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Food Sovereignty: An Alternative Paradigm for Poverty Reduction and Biodiversity Conservation in Latin America
  • M. Jahi Chappell, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
  • Hannah Wittman, University of Bristish Columbia
  • Christopher M. Bacon, Santa Clara University
  • Bruce G. Ferguson, El Colegio de La Frontera Sur
  • Luis Garcia Barrios, El Colegio de La Frontera Sur
  • Raúl Garcia Barrios, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Daniel Jaffee, Portland State University
  • Jefferson Lima, Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas
  • V. Ernesto Méndez, University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Helda Morales, El Colegio de La Frontera Sur
  • Lorena Soto-Pinto, El Colegio de La Frontera Sur
  • John Vandermeer, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Ivette Perfecto, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
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  • Food sovereignty,
  • Biodiversity Conservation -- Latin America

Strong feedback between global biodiversity loss and persistent, extreme rural poverty are major challenges in the face of concurrent food, energy, and environmental crises. This paper examines the role of industrial agricultural intensification and market integration as exogenous socio-ecological drivers of biodiversity loss and poverty traps in Latin America. We then analyze the potential of a food sovereignty framework, based on protecting the viability of a diverse agroecological matrix while supporting rural livelihoods and global food production. We review several successful examples of this approach, including ecological land reform in Brazil, agroforestry, milpa, and the uses of wild varieties in smallholder systems in Mexico and Central America. We highlight emergent research directions that will be necessary to assess the potential of the food sovereignty model to promote both biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction.


Copyright: 2013 Chappell MJ et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Data associated with the article are available under the terms of the Creative Commons Zero "No rights reserved" data waiver (CC0 1.0 Public domain dedication).

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Chappell MJ, Wittman H, Bacon CM et al. (2013) Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America [v1; ref status: indexed,]F1000Research 2013, 2:235 (doi:10.12688/f1000research.2-235.v1)