Participatory research for restoration and agro-ecological production

Participatory research for restoration and agro-ecological production


This chapter describes the process and outcomes of a 25-year participatory research project that was carried out in partnership between CIPAV and farmers of a local community in El Dovio, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. The project was guided by integrated land management and the need to combine biodiversity conservation, ecological restoration, and sustainable use of natural resources. 

Goals & Methods

The primary goal of the longterm project was to work with the local community to pursue agro-ecological production that is based on a synergy of traditional knowledge of farmers and technical knowledge. The process involved an evolution of various projects, which range from food security, water supply, identifying native trees for restoration, and so on. Moreover, each step involved a participatory aspect, encouraging local farmers to actively collect data and contribute to the creation of knowledge. 

Conclusions & Takeaways

The results of the participatory research project are optimistic. The authors state that local farmers have adapted approproate agro-ecological methods and that valuation of lands and self-esteem have increased. Additionally, the young people who were involved in the project early on have since pursued careers in restoration. Finally, this participatory approach to restoration has allowed CIPAV and the community to develop a strong relationship based on friendship and trust, thus ensuring future success. 


Calle, Zoraida, Enrique Murgueitio, Julián Andrés Giraldo, Adriana Giraldo, Eudaly Giraldo. 2017. 'Participatory research for restoration and agro ecological production.' in Beyond restoration ecology: social perspectives in Latin America and the Caribbean. SIACRE: 203-214.


  • Environmental Leadership Training Initiative (ELTI)