Open Letter to the Philippine Delegation to the 27th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Dear Members of the Philippine Delegation,
We are civil society organisations advocating Agroecology and the people’s right to food and health.
As we welcome the inclusion of agriculture and climate adaptation as amongst the five key issues indicated in this year’s COP, we hereby call on our policymakers to help put Agroecology, an approach to guarantee the universal right to food, on the agenda.
Ranked as the world’s most disaster-prone country today (World Risk Index, 2022), the Philippines is being tremendously impacted by the effects of climate change, which is also threatening the basic human right to food security. This, along with the accumulated loss and damages from past disasters and the pandemic, and interrelated issues on health, transport, energy, and market affordability, continue to make living situations worse for most Filipinos. The Paris Agreement recognizes “the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change.” Multiple studies have already warned that without adequately approaching the agriculture and food system question, we make no chance of meeting the Paris Agreement’s targets.
We forward the framework of Agroecology as a viable, feasible, and an alternative climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy. Given the drastic impacts of climate change on food productivity, there is a significant need to develop coherent policies and urgent solutions to achieve climate-resilient food systems. Agroecology, as a set of guiding principles for a systematic action to ensure a just and sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems, must be recognised as a global warming solution and a rights-based approach in the COP27 processes and decisions, to ensure the delivery of urgent and concrete climate actions.
To scale up Agroecology is to advocate for the creation of food systems that emit less carbon and preserve biodiversity. Agroecological ways of farming create resilient, fertile, and more carbon-absorbent soils, focus on the efficient reuse of water and natural manure, provide healthy and nutritious food, increase crop yield, stimulate local economy and fair pricing, increase the capacities of small-scale farming communities, and help address loss of livelihoods, poverty, and food insecurity amongst the most vulnerable populations.
We call on the Philippine Delegation to the COP27 to advocate for Agroecology as an adaptive strategy to strengthen stability and resilience of food production systems, in the face of extreme events due to climate change, and as we are nearing the point of irreversible impact of this global threat.
We support the Philippine Delegation’s emphasis on the need for urgent “actions with results,” and its call to “transform theories and rhetoric into practical and pragmatic solutions applicable to the smallest, isolated, and disadvantaged communities to achieve holistic and sustainable development.” While we continue to improve our response mechanisms and humanitarian efforts to provide life-saving assistance during emergencies and disaster events, it is better to invest in long-term resilience-building, in strengthening local capacity, and in implementing pre-emptive action and developing sustainable systems, to counter the climate crisis and other future shocks.
We believe that Agroecology is deeply anchored on the principle of climate justice, thus requiring the efficient collaboration amongst various stakeholders –governments and civil societies alike. Making room for Agroecology within the COP27 decisions will contribute to a just and climate-resilient food system. We hope that the delegation will seize every opportunity to voice the concerns of the Filipino grassroot farming communities, for a climate-resilient future for all.
Letter endorsed by the following organizations and institutions:
AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People
Agro-Eco Federation of Lanao
Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon (AMGL)
AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women
Angelica Louise Education Center, Inc. (ALE Center)
Asia Pacific Network of Environment Defenders (APNED)
Bagsakan Farmers Market
Bukas na Hapag
Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC)
Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines Inc. (CEC)
Climate Change Network for Community-based Initiatives (CCNCI)
Coalition for People’s Right to Health (CPRH)
Convergence of NGOs – POs in Zamboanga del Sur for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (CONZARRD)
Council for Health and Development (CHD)
Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG)
GABRIELA Alliance of Filipino Women
Good Clean Cart
Good Food Community
Kabataang Pangasinan para sa Kalikasan at Sambayanan / Pangasinan Youth for the Environment and People (KAPAKANAN)
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (KALIKASAN)
Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY)
KARAPATAN – Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights-Philippines
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP)
Kilusang Maralita sa Kanayunan (KILOS KA)
Lanao Aquatic and Marine Fisheries Center for Community Development (LAFCCOD)
Leyte Center for Development, Inc. (LCDE)
Magsasaka at Siyentipiko pasa sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG)
National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates – Youth (NNARA-Youth)
Nueva Ecija Community Based Health Program, Inc. (NE-CBHP)
Organic Farming Field Experimental & Resource Station – Panay (OFFERS-Panay)
Paghida-et sa Kauswagan Development Group, Inc. (PDG)
Paghugpong sang mga Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (PAMANGGAS)
Pangasinan People’s Strike for the Environment
Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes (PNFSP)
Rural Women’s Advocates (RUWA)
Samahan at Ugnayan ng mga Konsyumer para sa Ikauunlad ng bayan (SUKI Network)
Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo (SAKA)
SANDIWA Network of Advocates for National Minority Rights
Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (SIBAT)
Taripnong – Cagayan Valley
The Vegan Neighbors
Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)
Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP)