This study analyzed examples of sustainable ecosystem-based agriculture where management methods supported livelihoods of smallholders while at the same time local ecosystem services were enhanced in Ethiopia, Brazil, and the Philippines. Participation by farmers and collective actions were found to be a crucial driving force, as local specific knowledge and “learning by doing” were main components of the development. Social cohesion, particularly through associations and cooperatives, and improved marketing opportunities were also important drivers. Furthermore, recognition by authorities at all levels was perceived as crucial. Effects of climate change, insecure property rights, and political instability were potential threats. The possibilities of such systems to be scaled up beyond self-sufficiency raised further questions.
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