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International Learning Workshop on Farmer Field Schools (FFS): Emerging Issues and Challenges, 21-25 October 2002

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Document begins: International Learning Workshop on Farmer Field Schools (FFS): Emerging Issues and Challenges, 21-25 October 2002, Yogyakarta, Indonesia Social Learning for Ecological Literacy and Democracy: Emerging Issues and Challenges1 Michel P. Pimbert, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), 3 Endsleigh Street, London, WC 1H 0DD, UK. E-mail: michel.pimbert@iied.org Summary In essence Farmer Field Schools (FFS) are a form of social learning, negotiation and effective collective action that focuses on society's relationship with nature. The spread and scaling up of FFS principles from integrated pest management (IPM) in rice to other areas have been remarkable. However, much still needs to be done. This paper discusses three broad challenges and emerging issues for FFS futures: 1. Social learning for ecological literacy and democracy. The dynamics of self discovery learning and participatory action are needed to expand knowledge of agro-ecology for sustainable agriculture, people-environment interactions and deliberative democracy. 2. Institutionalising social learning and participation. Different understandings and meanings of participatory development lead to fundamentally different approaches to mainstreaming social learning and participation 3. Re-governing food systems and the commons. New forms of governance are needed to safeguard the rights, livelihoods and environments of farmers and other citizens confronted by rapid and uncertain ...

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