September 20th, 2014

Farming Matters | 30.3 |September 2014 Farmers are integral parts of the landscape. They live in and live off the land, striving to maintain the agroecosystems that in turn sustain them. They are our landscape guardians, and this issue of Farming Matters explores how family farming, pastoralists and forest communities are responding to increasing pressures on … Read more

Editorial – Farming communities in living landscapes
September 15th, 2014

Leading up to the December 2014 Global Landscapes Forum in Peru, this issue explores how family farming, pastoralist and forest communities are responding to the increasing pressures on their landscapes, creating space for their own development path and reconstructing their landscapes. The ‘landscape approach’ has been increasingly promoted during recent years as a new perspective … Read more

Tribal farmers reclaiming denuded landscapes
September 15th, 2014

In southern Odisha state, India, the landscape and livelihoods of family farmers are threatened by large dams, changing rainfall patterns and government indifference. But tribal communities have decided how they want to conserve their land for their own benefit. And they are doing it. Podu chaso, as shifting cultivation is called in the tribal regions … Read more

Opinion: Remembering the landscape
September 15th, 2014

Million Belay tells the story of how Aman Mame reads his landscape, and uses it to explain how social memory provides the context for responding to ecosystem change. His name is Aman Mame. He reads the landscape as a mullah reads the Koran or as a high priest reads the Bible. We were on the … Read more

Making the most of invaded landscapes
September 15th, 2014

Millions of hectares of once degraded dustbowls across the world’s drylands have become ‘reforested’ in recent decades. The landscape has totally changed, but the trees were not planted. Exotic trees have spread ‘naturally’, creating dense forests over large areas. Local farmers and pastoralists must be happy then? Not at all. The trees have actually made … Read more

Rebuilding mountain landscapes
September 15th, 2014

Mountain landscapes have long been nurtured by family farmers, and these landscapes, in turn, sustain farmers’ livelihoods. Yet, mountain life is by no means easy. Inaccessible terrain, harsh topography and social and political marginalisation tend to undermine food security. This led farmers in some areas to look at income generation by switching to cash crops. … Read more

Locally rooted: Ideas and innovations from the field
September 15th, 2014

Landscapes are rich melting pots of biological and cultural diversity which, in many cases, are under threat. Here, from across the globe, we see four examples of farming communities taking initiatives to resist the destruction of their environment, assert their rights and improve their landscapes. Argentina: Implementing the constitution now! In July 2014, social organisations … Read more

Sacred forest landscapes, self-reliant agroecosystems
September 15th, 2014

In a multi-ethnic region of Yunnan province, China, the Dai minority have thousands of sacred forests. They say, “If there were no forest, there would be no water source; if there were no water, there would be no paddy fields, and as a result, there would be no fish or rice we could live on.” … Read more

Perpectives: A decade of integrated landscape management
September 15th, 2014

This ‘landscape’ issue of Farming Matters comes at a most timely moment. It presents a perfect opportunity to reflect on how agricultural landscape thinking and action has evolved during the past ten years, and the implications of this for the future of family farming. It is ten years since the first international ecoagriculture conference and … Read more

Opinion: We need more farmers, not less
September 15th, 2014

We need more farmers, not less, says John D. Liu. But as farmers can help limit climate change and increase biodiversity, so shouldn’t they be paid for more than simply the food that they produce? Productive landscapes within functional ecosystems are critical in being able to feed the human population, and will become even more … Read more