Increasingly well-known for his contributions to Indigenous research and agriculture, over the past two months Tirso Gonzales has been invited to two major international gatherings to share his perspectives with researchers and policy-makers from around the world.
Gonzales, assistant professor of Indigenous studies, recently returned from the 2010 Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) in Montpellier, France. He attended as an official delegate for Latin America, selected by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Agropolis International.
GCARD aims to strengthen and reform agricultural research for development systems around the world, in an inclusive way to empower and improve the livelihoods of indigenous farmers and resource-poor farmers.
"The GCARD conference was a meeting of more than 1,000 agricultural researchers, policymakers, farmers, donors, and members of civil society from every region of the world to develop a new agricultural research for development in order to reduce hunger and poverty," says Gonzales.
"A key challenge for GCARD still is how to incorporate Indigenous Peoples' farming and agriculturalists as part of a new research agenda that honours culturally diverse sustainable agri-cultures.
"Given the fact that 1.2 billion ‘small-scale agriculturalists'-most of them with a strong indigenous background, contribute to 70 per cent of global food output, it is imperative to acknowledge this sector in its own terms. A partnership between indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge, can contribute to development with culture and identity."
Gonzales was also invited to participate in an international workshop in Cusco, Peru, in May to determine the scope for an initiative known as the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty.
Gonzales says the workshop set the foundation for an alliance between Indigenous peoples, local communities and their key allies -- and for co-creating a research and advocacy agenda in support of agrobiodiversity and the regeneration of diverse local food systems and landscapes within the broader framework of food sovereignty.
This first international meeting of the Partnership united researchers and practitioners from indigenous communities, organizations and allies from diverse (biocultural) regions of Bolivia , Canada, England, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Peru, Vanuatu and the United States.
Visit the workshop website
Visit the GCARD website
Read more about Tirso Gonzales in UBC Reports