Greenpeace statement on Typhoon Lando’s damage to Greater Luzon

Typhoon Lando (international name Koppu) was another blow to the Philippines which is already feeling the impacts of extreme weathers like El Niño. Yet, the unusual amount of rainfall, compounded by the slow movement of the typhoon, sent thousands of people to evacuation centers and took a toll on farming communities living in 29 affected provinces.

The Department of Agriculture has estimated damages to local crops and livestock amounting to PHP5.9 billion. In Nueva Ecija and in the other rice producing areas, floods destroyed rice fields at harvest time.

Leonora Lava, Sr. Ecological Agriculture Campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines said: “Now more than ever, our farmers and the rest of the agriculture sector should be equipped and helped on how they can go about farming given the ever increasing threat of climate change.

“As a country, we are slowly learning. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction has lauded the Philippine government for its efforts to reduce mortality and the number of people affected by the typhoon. Sadly, we forget the agriculture sector which requires long-term and sustained planning and actions. The Philippine government must think and plan better given our ‘new normal’ – of extreme weather events that lead to more disasters.

“Climate change now threatens food production in the Philippines and this needs prompt action from the government to adopt and support policies that can transition the country’s farming towards a climate resilient model that can withstand future extreme weather impacts. Filipinos desperately need resilient agriculture that conserves and utilizes farm diversity, promotes food diversity and diets, and ensures food and nutrition security for all.

“Greenpeace urges the government to do more for our farmers - ang naghahampas ng lupa, or the hampaslupa - who arduously till the soil to produce the food to feed the nation. We in Greenpeace challenge the government, especially our presidential aspirants, to prioritize ecological agriculture and present concrete plans on how we can help our farmers and give them their due respect. We also challenge the public to walk in the shoes – or the slippers – of our hampaslupa and create a clamor to push for ecological agriculture and food security. “

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