Georgina Smith/CIAT

Agro Landscapes launches e-learning for systems thinking on food, land and water

December 8, 2021

Agro Landscapes has launched "Synergies and tradeoffs in food, land and water systems", a series of six interactive e-learning modules that brings together the insights of over 40 international experts on transforming our food, land and water systems for a sustainable and inclusive future.

Climate change, biodiversity and human health are inextricably linked through our food and agricultural production systems. But just as neglecting these connections has led to ecologically destructive practices that have failed to ensure healthy diets, a holistic approach could help regenerate the planet and our wellbeing. The e-learning modules developed by Agro Landscapes, a project funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems, emphasize the systems thinking our planet and society so urgently needs. Represented by an interactive flower on the landing page, the design of the modules expressly encourages non-linear learning.

The modules are in the form of multimedia presentations by systems researchers affiliated with universities and CGIAR centers across the world. They include concrete examples from the field, lived-through experiences, innovative tools and methods, lessons learned and insights. This holistic approach, it is hoped, will offer equitable and resilient pathways for the transformation of our food, land and water systems.

Researchers, practitioners, students, policymakers and laypersons alike are invited to "choose their own adventure", using the entry points most relevant to them, exploring subjects both familiar and unfamiliar, and at different scales – from the global to the plot level. In embracing the complexity of systems thinking, the common objective is to provide users with flexible and relevant toolkits to actively strengthen co-benefits (synergies) while better managing conflicting objectives and unintended negative consequences (tradeoffs) in food, land and water systems.

"Synergies and tradeoffs in food, land and water systems" is coordinated by Roseline Remans, Natalia Estrada Carmona, Heather Zornetzer and Silvia Araujo de Lima of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and Roos de Adelhart Toorop of Wageningen University & Research. The modules can be accessed freely at