November 20, 2015 (5:28 PM)

3 min read


#IAmHampasLupa, a regional forum on the role of the Filipino youth in shaping the country’s food and agriculture systems, was held at the Finster Auditorium of Ateneo de Davao University last Friday, Nov. 13.

The Filipino youth in this campaign were challenged to redefine hampaslupa, often used as an offensive word. Its translation, however, is ‘to till the soil’. The campaign acknowledges the nobility of the farmers and farming in general. It encourages the youth to engage in discussions about the future of Philippine agriculture and Filipinos’ nutrition, especially in these times were genetically-modified organisms (GMO’s) are often bought.

#IAmHampasLupa promotes ecological agriculture which focuses on healthy farming and healthy food for today through its protection of the soil, water and climate, and the promotion of biodiversity.

The whole-day forum was mainly attended by students from Ateneo de Davao University, Philippine Women’s College, Rizal Memorial Colleges, University of Mindanao, University of the Philippines – Mindanao and the University of the Immaculate Conception.

In welcoming the participants, AdDU President Fr. Joel Tabora encouraged more of the Filipino and Mindanao youth to partner with Greenpeace in protecting “the environment in the pursuit of peace”.

He cites Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home), which does not tolerate the destruction of the environment for development.

“The destruction of our sources of food and water shall only cause unparalleled hunger and cruel thirst which shall inevitably spawn violence and even war,” he said.

The event focused on ecological agriculture in seven principles, namely (1) food sovereignty, (2) benefitting farmers and rural communities, (3) smarter food production and yields, (4) biodiversity, (5) sustainable soil health, (6) ecological pest management, and (7) resilient food systems.

“I pledge to make use of social media wisely by simply posting helpful information regarding ecological agriculture,” Stephanie Angel Louz Rodriguez, a third year student from the University of Mindanao (UM), said.

In Davao’s #IAmHampasLupa campaign, Greenpeace in partnership with Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), University of Mindanao (UM), Philippine Women College (PWC), MASIPAG Mindanao, Greenpeace Mindanao Volunteers and Interface Development Interventions, Inc. (IDIS).

On Nov. 25-27, the #IAmHampasLupa campaign will culminate in the National Youth Congress in Manila. Youth leaders from the country’s 81 provinces are planning to have a dialogue with Presidential candidates for their part in ensuring food security and ecological farming.

End the silence of the gagged!

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