By Ravi Wood
On Friday October 17, U of T hosted a panel “Agroecology – The Next New Thing” as part of its World Food Days series of events. Speakers included Dr. Filiberto Penados (Institute for Sustainable International Studies, Belize), Toyin Coker (Permaculture GTA) and food policy expert Wayne Roberts. Each provided a vastly different but equally informative perspective on agroecology and its connections to topics such as indigeneity, sustainability and urban agriculture. Dr. Penados, an activist and scholar in indigenous studies and education, spoke in great detail about agroecology through anecdotes of a Mayan farmer in Belize. He discussed the dreams and challenges of agroecologists, as well as how the practice is helping indigenous farmers reconnect with their heritage by “eating Maya”. Toyin Coker is the director of Permaculture – GTA, a local organization devoted to implementing the principles and values of permaculture into work into their projects to build more socially just and sustainable communities. Toyin’s talk focused on how we as humans fit into our social and biological ecologies, how the theory of permaculture emphasizes a more holistic perspective on ourselves and our environments, and how permaculture relates to agroecology. Wayne Roberts, a renowned Canadian food policy maker, discussed how the agroecological mindset could be applied to local food systems and urban agriculture.
For more information on the speakers and the great work they’re doing, check out
And to see a short film on traditional agriculture in Honduras that Wayne Roberts
presented during his talk, follow this link: