Women peasants and fisherfolk in the Philippines want to be fully considered by the government in adaptation and mitigation strategies. They want the general public and policymakers to understand that they are a vital sector in the economy and that they are also contributing to reducing the impacts of climate change.
Over the last decade, privatization and conversion of bay areas, predominantly by reclamation projects, have threatened to displace traditional fishing communities and undermine the steady supply of fish products in the economy. Moreover, bay areas are facing marine environmental degradation, subsidence, and major risks of flooding. After decades of government subsidies and support services, production volume and quality of food have dramatically decreased, and coastal ecosystems have deteriorated.
Women peasants and fisherfolk are ready to revitalize traditional practices and complement them with agroecological knowledge to restore land and water bodies where they grow food. Their plan is to systematize best practices and collect stories of success to motivate more people to join this women-led movement.
In the first stage of this Agroecology Fund project, they will document the impact of drought and reclamation projects so that they can be used in campaigns, advocacy, and organizational building. It will include training that will encourage local peasant women to use environmentally sustainable agricultural practices such as organic farming and agroecology, which may have a positive effect on the natural environment. The initiative advocates for a production subsidy, immediate assistance, food security bills, and protection of lands and bodies of water from environmentally harmful practices such as reclamation.
As part of their empowerment, women will further develop agroecology knowledge and practices after a land-use study by agroecology experts. They will also collect and use local heirloom seeds as part of a program of traditional seed research, propagation, and development. The project will also implement two cross-learning dialogues: women to women and rural residents to urban residents, and youth are to become centerpieces in the revival of love and pride in farming for the people’s needs in the province of Occidental Mindoro, Mimaropa.