Mapping for Food System Transformation

Authors: Jessica Milgroom*, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University, Colin Anderson, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Food sovereignty, agroecology, mapping, social movements,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Governor's Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Around the world, many organizations supporting agroecology and food sovereignty are engaging in mapping initiatives. The urge to ‘map’ seems to respond to a need to see, understand and further develop the range of emerging initiatives that are coalescing around the shared values articulated in agroecology or food sovereignty. Many of the emerging initiatives are grassroots, community-based or farmer driven and are otherwise under the radar, reflecting the bottom-up nature of the food system transformation inherent in the food sovereignty approach. Mapping has the potential to make important contributions to food system transformation. However, the way that mapping is being deployed in social movements requires careful critical thought to maximize the potential of this common strategy. Our study examined agroecology mapping initiatives, interviewed the organizations responsible for them and used this as a basis to develop an analysis to better understand the role of mapping in social movements. The main objective, methods used, and actors involved in initiating the mapping shaped the potential of mapping. Important tradeoffs, including the degree to which a mapping initiative is a participatory collective effort, or how reliable and updated the information on a map is, depends on how the mapping process is designed. We conclude by examining how these diverse mapping processes reflect different theories of change.

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