This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at

  UNU Home           UNUP Home           Publications           Staff           Feedback           Search           Contacts           Disclaimer
Agrodiversity: Learning from farmers Across the World
Harold Brookfield, Helen Parsons, and Muriel Brookfield
ISBN: 92-808-1087-1
September 2003
  300 pages
Description | Contents | Authors/Editors | Contributors
Barnes and Noble
United Nations Publications
  • Course adoption
  • Request for review copies
  • Read Sample Chapter [PDF filesize = 1.2 MB]

    Through generations of innovation and experiment, smallholder farmers have nurtured a rich diversity of plants and animals, both wild and domesticated. Most academic literature emphasizes the accelerated loss of biodiversity, but this book describes how large numbers of smallholder farmers are conserving biodiversity in their farmland and surrounds. It is based on the fieldwork of the United Nations University Project on People, Land Management and Environmental Change (PLEC), which has observed how farmers use their knowledge and skills to manage diversity and also to manage their resources conservatively and profitably. [READ MORE...]

    "This book is an optimistic step forward for it reaffirms the faith in eco-friendly farming practiced by thousands of small farmers all over the world". - Terra Green.
    Harold Brookfield, formerly Principal Scientific Coordinator of PLEC, is now Senior Adviser. He is Professor-emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. Helen Parsons, formerly Research Assistant to PLEC, is now joint editor (with Harold Brookfield) of the scientific-information listserv (PLECserv) and of PLEC News and Views. She is also a smallholder farmer. Muriel Brookfield was formerly the principal editor of PLEC News and Views. She is now engaged in ornithological and environmental research.


  • Introduction
  • The evolution of PLEC’s work, 1992-2002
  • How PLEC worked toward its objectives
  • Brazil (Amazonia)
  • Ghana
  • Guinée
  • Uganda
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • China
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Mexico
  • Jamaica
  • Thailand
  • Findings from the PLEC Project


  • Harold Brookfield
  • Helen Parsons
  • Muriel Brookfield
  • Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez
  • David G. McGrath
  • Tereza Ximenes
  • Edwin A. Gyasi
  • William Oduro
  • Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic
  • J. Saa Dittoh
  • William Asante
  • Ibrahima Boiro
  • A. Karim
  • Barry Amadou Diallo
  • Joy Tumuhairwe
  • Charles Nkwiine
  • John Kawongolo
  • John N. N. Kang’ara
  • Ezekiel H. Ngoroi
  • Charles M. Rimui
  • Kajuju Kaburu
  • Barrak O.Okoba
  • Fidelis Kaihura
  • the late Edward Kaitaba
  • Edina Kahembe
  • Charles Ngilorit
  • Dao Zhiling
  • Guo Huijun
  • Chen Aiguo
  • Fu Yongneng
  • Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez
  • Pilar Paredes del Aguila
  • Roberto Romero
  • Michelle Rios
  • Mario Pinedo-Panduro
  • Octavio Castelán-Ortega
  • Carlos González Esquivel
  • Carlos Arriaga Jordán
  • Cristina Chávez Mejia
  • Elizabeth Thomas-Hope Balfour
  • Spence Kanok Rerkasem

  • UNU home