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Diversity as the key to resilience – agroecology and collective political action by family farmers in drought-stricken regions

Brazil's semi-arid Northeast is prone to desertification and experienced its worst drought in a century for the last six years. Our aim is to discuss how agroecological methods in this context enhance small farmers' resilience against climate change and combine traditional and innovative farming practices with new social arrangements for collective action. Initial inputs will be presented by the AS-PTA (Brazil) and MISEREOR (Germany) in order to exchange experiences with the participants on how ecological farming practices and local seed diversity strengthen farmers' capacity to deal with climate change in semi-arid areas, and how civil society groups can engage collectively in the formulation of public policies for agroecology and food security and sovereignty. The idea of “living with the semi-arid” (instead of struggling against it) has proven to be an important factor to encourage the creation of innovative alternative technologies and to stimulate the local institutions for management of natural resources so that they interact positively with local economy. We will also discuss how CSOs can promote agroecology and food security through local actors as SDG-related efforts.