|Simon Fraser University
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In the face of rising environmental and food insecurities, communities across the globe are increasingly organizing to regain control of agro-ecological systems. This thesis explores these struggles in the context of highland Guatemala, examining food/seed sovereignty and permaculture movements and the lived experiences of rural women, farmers and grassroots environmental collectives. First, this thesis explores the historical erosion of local seed sovereignty, women’s current roles in the food sovereignty movement and the gendered implications of both of these processes. Second, this thesis explores how grassroots collectives are drawing from permaculture’s principles to creatively address agricultural and environmental vulnerabilities through horizontal organizational frameworks. This thesis posits that the food sovereignty and permaculture movements not only offer promising approaches for agricultural production and environmental stewardship, but they also provide valuable insights into the process of promoting local self-determination, democratization, gender equality and resiliency within and beyond local movements.