Indigenous Agroecological Territories (INDAGAR)

A potential for up-scaling sustainable and just food system transformation


  • Lead school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Multifunctional Forest Management
    HAFL Institut Hugo P. Cecchini
  • Research unit Forest Policy and International Forest Management
  • Funding organisation Others
  • Duration (planned) 01.04.2024 - 31.03.2026
  • Project management Dr. Sébastien-Pierre Boillat
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Bernhard Pauli
  • Project staff Dr. Sébastien-Pierre Boillat
    Dr. Christine Jurt Vicuña Muñoz
  • Partner Swiss Network for International Studies
    Universidad Mayor de San Simón
    Centro de Comunicación y Desarrollo Andino CENDA
  • Keywords agroecology, indigenous peoples, territorialization, food systems, sustainability transition, climate change, Bolivia


Agroecology is proposed as a solution to build more equitable, sustainable and resilient food systems, which are key for indigenous peoples to tackle the multiple threats they face. Indigenous agricultural systems also greatly contribute to agroecology. Recently, initiatives of “agroecological territories” have proliferated to up-scale agroecology. Connecting agroecological and indigenous territories has a strong potential to empower indigenous knowledge while also protecting and improving indigenous food systems, conserve biodiversity and build resilience to climate change. Nevertheless, these territorialization processes have emerged in separate networks and the link between agroecology and indigenous knowledge is less evident in practice. Furthermore, indigenous territories can be highly fragmented and potentially hinder agroecological transformation. This project has the objective to empirically assess the links between agroecological and indigenous territories and highlight their potential synergies and trade-offs.

Course of action

We will perform a global meta-analysis on indigenous agroecology and agroecological initiatives (WP1). Second, we will focus on Bolivia, where a strong policy of promotion of agroecology co-exists with consolidated indigenous lands. There, we will perform a network analysis of agroecological initiatives and agroecological policies (WP2). We will then implement an interactive knowledge co-production process involving indigenous communities and their organizations in three case study areas. We will focus on territorial governance (WP3), production systems, risks and opportunities (WP4), food systems (WP5) and an auto-reflexive analysis of the co-production process (WP6). Our research with contribute to issues of crucial importance from a theoretical, empirical, and policy perspective, namely the question of cross-cultural issues in sustainability transitions, a critical analysis of the power relations in agroecological movements and key guidance to support the sustainable and just transformation of food systems.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 2: Zero hunger
  • 10: Reduced inequalities