Village Earth & Colorado State University Launch New Online Training in Agroecology

Responding to UN urging for a “paradigm shift” in agriculture to more climate-smart practices that are more “adaptive and resilient to environmental pressures, while decreasing farming’s own impacts.”

Today, Village Earth announced the opening of registration for a new online course focused on the theory and practice of Agroecology. This is the newest course in Village Earth’s Online Certificate Program in Sustainable Community Development offered through Colorado State University’s Online Plus Program. The course was developed in response to a calls by the United Nations and the recommendations of the Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture (http://www.fao.org/climate-smart-agriculture/85725/en/) to shift towards a more climate friendly, sustainable and socially just agriculture system.

In a release dated February 28th, 2015 the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO (http://www.fao.org/)) said “The model of agricultural production that predominates today is not suitable for the new food security challenges of the 21st century and the need to be more sustainable, inclusive and resilient.” In the same release the UN FAO Director-General also highlighted agroecology as a promising way to move food production onto a more sustainable path. The approach uses ecological theory to study and manage agricultural systems in order to make them both more productive and better at conserving natural resources.

According to the Village Earth course description, Agroecology has a broad scope and includes many different meanings. The term has been used to describe an interdisciplinary scientific field, to characterize a set of farming practices, and to name convergent social initiatives. In this course we will identify their common root (the agroecological lens) and learn how to use it as a transformative tool for social and environmental justice. The agroecological lens will be used to reflect step by step, traversing perspectives from a narrow scope (the field) to the broadest level (the food system). Throughout this process, diverse themes ranging from soil care to food sovereignty will be explored. Case studies from initiatives around the globe will be used to inspire enhanced understanding of the actions and perspectives necessary to successfully develop one’s own agroecological project. Successful stories with positive effects can radiate their energy and contribute to the improvement of society beyond their locality.

Since 2003, Village Earth and Colorado State University have provided cutting-edge online training in the field of sustainble community development. Their Online Certificate program uses a multi-sector, participatory approach that focuses on empowerment of people as both the ends and means of a sustainable development process. Rather than teaching prescriptive solutions to community problems, we provide you with the tools to use the community’s input and vision to create options and solutions that truly meet community needs.

The certificate program is designed for people who currently work in community development and desire to advance their careers as well as those who plan to work or volunteer in this field. You will be equipped with practical tools to meet today’s challenges as project directors, community leaders, grassroots activists, funders, and field workers in community-based organizations and governmental and nongovernmental organizations. With a wide variety of electives, you can tailor the program to meet your needs and interests.

Students of the program can choose to specialize in one of five tracks Economic Development (http://villageearth.org/training-and-consulting/online/sp…), Political Empowerment (http://villageearth.org/training-and-consulting/online/sp…), Food Security / Agriculture, Participatory Facilitation, Community Planning and Development. This new course will count towards the Food Security / Agriculture Track.

To earn a certificate in sustainable community development, students must complete the required courses of their chosen track and any elective courses of your choosing. Each course runs five weeks and requires a minimum of 20 hours of student participation. You may take courses in any order.  Each course costs $390.

To learn more about this exciting new course offering visit: http://www.villageearth.org/training-and-consulting/online/agroecology-for-sustainable-communities

Comments

  1. Jan Norman says:

    Hi!
    I’m Jan Norman. I have a great deal of interest in this program. I currently use an electronic wheelchair. I haven’t decided which track to study as they all interest me. However, some may have a more “in the field” component that a wheelchair wouldn’t necessarily be able to accommodate. Can you think of any track that would be less compatible? Also, I am print handicapped. Are your textbooks, e-books ? I need to figure out what kind of accommodations I would need to participate.
    Thanks,
    JN

  2. i am kassahun Amanie Makonnen i countinously follow or attanened this program thankyou god blease you

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