Eight researchers from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna actively attended the first Agroecology Europe Forum, held on 25-27 October in Lyon, France. The event, organised by the European Association for Agroecology (www.agroecology-europe.org), involved researchers, NGOs and farmers from all over Europe and beyond on the theme “Fostering synergies between movements, science and practice”.
Camilla Moonen coordinated the workshop “Agrobiodiversity to support Agroecology”, promoting the discussion on functional biodiversity use for the provision of positive agroecosystem services. Simone Marini presented an experience of dialog with beekeepers and farmers from Pisa plain on wild and honey bees. He shared also major results on the connections between semi-natural habitats and sunflower pollination coming from the QuESSA H2020 project activities (www.quessa.eu). Cian Blaix, PhD candidate of the Agrobiodiversity program, contributed on similar topics, with a poster on a survey of hover flies in the San Rossore Regional Park.
Mariateresa Lazzaro presented the “SPADE TEST app” (soilhealth.capsella.eu) for visual observation of soil conditions, developed together with Greek and Italian farmers in the framework of H2020 CAPSELLA project (www.capsella.eu). The participants tested the app on field during one of the field visits planned during the Forum.
Fernando Pellegrini brought the results of the participatory activities in the FERTILCROP project (www.fertilcrop.net). The experience of networking with farmers, technicians and researchers to perform and evaluate an innovative wheat-clover intercropping contributed to the workshop “Legumes in European cropping systems for climate change adaptation.” On the topic of legumes a poster about LEGVALUE, H2020 project just started on legumes value chains was presented. On the topic of participatory approaches, Hailie Shiferaw Wolle presented a poster about his PhD project on farmers’ perception of agroforestry techniques in Etiopia and Stefano Carlesi presented the activities on sustainable livestock farming systems with a network of farmers from Bolzano, funded by the Rural Development plan of Regione Trentino Alto Adige.
Last but not least, Prof. Paolo Barberi coordinated the session “Development of Agroecological practices” with gathered research results on agroecology based experiments from different contexts. Antsa Rafenomanjato presented there the results of his PhD project on weeds management with the use of Stilosanthes guinaensis in no-till rain-fed rice cropping system in Madagascar.
Prof. Paolo Barberi was confirmed in the Agroecology Europe board during the election held at the Forum.
The Institute of Life Science will continue to be active in the Agroecology Europe association contributing with the experience of the present and future projects of Scuola Sant’Anna on agroecology and agrobiodiversity.