Agroecology supports farmers, farm workers, communities, countries and the environment and contributes to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
PAN put together five guiding principles for agroecology:
1. Put farmers first: Farmers’ knowledge of their landscape and their skills in adapting to local conditions have been honed over many generations.
2. Promote soil health, biodiversity and natural ecosystem function: Agroecology prioritises soil health as the basis of healthy agroecosystems. Healthy soils favour the growth of healthy plants, which are more resistant to pests and diseases, and produce more nutritious food. Agroecology also supports biodiversity—above and below ground, providing critical resources for a diversity of life to flourish and important ecosystem services such as pollination and biological control of pests.
3. Integrate science with knowledge and practice: Agroecology combines scientific inquiry by farmers and professional scientists, with community-based experimentation and investigation using formal and informal methods.
4. Promote complexity over simplicity: Complexity provides a high degree of resilience to system stresses such as extreme or variable weather, market fluctuations, or other perturbations—in contrast to monocultural systems that are inherently unstable and easily disrupted.