Paper on food sovereignty now submitted for recommendation in F1000

By Joern Fischer

I have just submitted the following recommendation to F1000 (

Food sovereignty: an alternative paradigm for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation in Latin America

Chappell M, Wittman H, Bacon C, Ferguson B … Morales H, Soto-Pinto L, Vandermeer J, Perfecto I.  F1000Res

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.2-235.v1

Improving biodiversity conservation and food security are two of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Biodiversity conservation and food security are, however, not independent of one another. There may be trade-offs between the two (e.g. with agricultural production encroaching into natural areas), but there may also be synergies (e.g. some traditional agricultural landscapes have maintained high levels of biodiversity over centuries). Trade-offs have been prominently discussed in discourses around yield-biodiversity relationships, whereas synergies have been discussed primarily in the agro-ecological literature.

In their ambitious review, Chappell and colleagues argue for an alternative paradigm to address the nexus of food and biodiversity, namely that of “food sovereignty”. Food sovereignty is a relatively new concept. It is overtly normative, in that it is concerned with the rights of peasant communities to produce, market and consume food bundles of their own choice, without undue outside influence. The review by Chappell and colleagues is detailed and demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of a vast amount of relevant literature. The authors successfully challenge a range of conventional ideas on how to best improve both biodiversity conservation and food security.

This is an extremely ambitious and bold paper. It is an important addition to current literature because it puts forward a truly alternative lens of analysis on the nexus of biodiversity conservation and food security.


To date, I have published two short notes with Jahi Chappell, in 2011 and 2013. I recently co-organised a workshop at SESYNC (the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center) with Jahi Chappell and Hannah Wittmann. John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto have co-authored a short note I published in 2011. I have in no way been involved with the production of this article and recommend it solely for its scholarly merits.

3 thoughts on “Paper on food sovereignty now submitted for recommendation in F1000

  1. Pingback: Two New Pieces Out on Food Sovereignty! (At Oxford Handbooks, and F1000Research) | AgroEcoPeople

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