Call for Submissions: Special Issue of Sustainability

Call for Submissions: Special Issue of Sustainability

The special issue of Sustainability, which will build the empirical evidence base on agroecological transitions in middle- and low-income countries – most of which are in the Global South – is now open for submissions. 

The special issue is co-edited by guest editors Professor Julian May (DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, University of the Western Cape), Professor Andy Dougill (Department of Environment and Geography, University of York), Professor Claire Quinn (Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds), and Dr Melody Mentz-Coetzee (Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria).

The deadline for manuscript submissions is 31 August 2023.

Special issue information

Calls for policy interventions, scientific research, and agricultural practices that promote agroecological transitions are gaining traction. This is both in response to climate change and ways of mitigating its impact, as well as to movements such as those promoting food sovereignty and the protection of indigenous people and the resources that they use.

There are as many definitions of agroecology as there are proponents. The High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) definition offers a useful framing that has been taken up by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The HLPE proposes that “agroecological approaches favour the use of natural processes, limit the use of purchased inputs, promote closed cycles with minimal negative externalities and stress the importance of local knowledge and participatory processes that develop knowledge and practice through experience, as well as more conventional scientific methods, and address social inequalities” (HLPE, 2019).

This definition can obscure the lived experiences of the practitioners who implement agroecology in diverse contexts. An alternative approach sees agroecology as “the integrative study of the ecology of the entire food system; a science, practice and movement; an approach to farming that maximizes ecological processes and does not degrade the natural resource base” (Carlile et al., 2021:10). This more clearly separates the practices of the approach from the social movements that are involved in advocacy – often for fundamental changes – to food systems.

Despite the interest in this approach, case studies of agroecological transition are limited and frequently presented as binaries, where practices either are or are not agroecological. The debates are sometimes confounded by allegations of corporate ‘greenwashing’, conflicts within and between social movements concerned with sustainability, and outright misinformation by all stakeholders.

This proposal for a special issue of Sustainability seeks to contribute towards attempts to bring balance and evidence to these debates through promoting transdisciplinary, systems-based research on agroecological transitions.

Submission information

Manuscripts should be submitted online by registering and logging in. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline (31 August 2023). All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles, as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on the MDPI website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access semi-monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open-access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

For further information, please visit the original article on the Sustainability website.