New guide: Mapping for food system change

Across the world, people and organisations are mapping agroecology and food sovereignty. It is all the rage! This new guide provides insights and tips on how to map for food system change.

Mapping is being used to advance agroecology and food sovereignty. People are mapping farms, markets, crop varieties and livestock breeds, soil fertility and water management practices, policies and more. It responds to a need to document, better understand and make visible the rapid emergence and evolution of agroecology and food sovereignty initiatives and movements.

Researchers at the AgroecologyNow initiative at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) and Cultivate!partnered to produce this new publication, A Guide to Mapping for Food System Change. 

The guide highlights the challenges and emerging opportunities that might arise when designing mapping processes. It aims to support mapping efforts to be powerful tools for food system change. The guide recommends thinking carefully about the criteria and processes used to decide what goes on the map and what doesn’t (Control) and who is involved in decision-making about the map (Participation).

The guide is based on a study carried out in 2018-2019. We looked at 30 on-line mapping initiatives: interactive platforms that aim to list, communicate and/or share ‘what is going on where’ with respect to agroecology or food sovereignty.  We carried out interviews with their organisers and held three focus group discussions with mappers from all over the world. The project set out to ask: Who is mapping? What are they mapping?And, how are they doing it?

We hope this guide provides a useful point of reference for all the mappers out there. We have also started a list of agroecology and food sovereignty mapping initiatives and encourage you to add your own here