This Memorandum of Understanding between Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture (ALGOA), International Network of Eco-Regions (IN.N.E.R.), Regeneration International (RI) and League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities and Provinces of the Philippines (LOAMCP- PH) with the participation and support of IFOAM-Organics International, IFOAM Asia, IFOAM EU, Baltic Foundation of Lithuania and Organic Food System Programme (collectively referred to as the Parties) has been signed at the place and date specified below.
The Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture (ALGOA) is an integrated body of IFOAM Asia (a regional body of IFOAM-Organics International) and was established on the 19th of September 2015, in the Republic of Korea, to promote a model of public and private partnership and a model of bottom up approach of policy planning from local to national policy development for the promotion of organic agriculture. ALGOA consists of an Annual ALGOA Summit of local government leaders and the ALGOA Organic Foundation Course (OFC), participated by government officials from more than 14 countries in Asia. The purpose for the establishment of ALGOA is to facilitate the full adoption of organic agriculture in Asia. Examples of its activities are: Policy Support, Information Exchange, Mutual Exchanges, Capacity-Building and the meeting of the local government representatives at the annual ALGOA Summit. In 2019, the annual ALGOA Summit became global through the “ALGOA+4 International Summit on Organic Agriculture Policy” and aims to cooperate with other similar groups and like-minded organizations outside Asia to further enhance the growth of organic agriculture in the world. Since its establishment in 2015, the ALGOA Presidency has been held by Goesan County, an organic county in the Republic of Korea. It is one of the birthplaces of organic farming and has become an organic hub in Asia with the hosting of the 2015 International Organic Expo and the “Organic 3.0 International Conference.”
The International Network of Eco Regions “IN.N.E.R.” was officially established as International Association on the 14th of December 2014 in Italy, where the Cilento eco-region model was implemented in 2004 and successively disseminated worldwide. At present about 40 bio-districts/eco-regions are operating in Italy. Other countries where the eco-regions have been implemented are: Portugal, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain. An interest for establishing Eco-Regions has been shown also from North Africa and Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) such as Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Equatorial Guinea. Eco-Regions acts based on the principles of organic agriculture of health, ecology, fairness and care and are applying a food system approach facilitating interactions between all actors. Each Eco-Region is unique following nature, lifestyle, human relations and food culture.
Regeneration International (RI) was formed in 2015 with the mission to promote, facilitate and accelerate the global transition to regenerative food, farming and land management for the purpose of restoring climate stability, ending world hunger and rebuilding deteriorated social, ecological and economic systems. Our vision is a healthy global ecosystem in which practitioners of regenerative agriculture and land use, in concert with consumers, educators, business leaders and policymakers, cool the planet, feed the world and restore public health, prosperity and peace on a global scale. We work with multiple stakeholders in key regions of the world who are committed to building alternative food and farming systems on a regional or national level. We are a global network of 284 partner groups on every arable continent. We are currently assisting in the building of numerous Regeneration Alliances, including those in Southern Africa, India, Myanmar, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Canada, regional U.S.A. Chile, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.
The League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities and Provinces of the Philippines (LOAMCP-PH) is the only national organization of the Local Chief Executives(LCEs) or Mayors and Governors in the Philippines and was established on 2012 as an outcome of the 2012 Gold One World Award (OWA) of Dumingag municipality in Zamboanga del Sur and intensively replicated in family farms, municipalities and cities territories all over the Philippines after the 2016 Bogota, Columbia Gold Peace Prize of UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) awarded to the previously in heavy conflict and war torn municipality of Kauswagan with entry of “From Arms to Farms” anchored in municipal-wide local policy framework of programs in sustainable organic agriculture. The principal aims of LOAMCP-PH is to liberate the family farms and citizens from poverty, hunger (food secured with high nutrition) and sickness anchored on the best examples of local self-organized initiatives and innovations of functional participatory governance and development processes in Family Farms Climate-resilient Investment Master Plans and thereafter upscaled to legal policy framework in Municipal/City/Provincial-wide Climate-resilient Investment Master Plans covering at least 1,200,000 hectares into organic conversion by 2022 through Inner Conditioning and mobilization of its societal threefolds of government, business and cultural organizations at the context of Organic 3.0 as societal transformations mindset to sustainable organic food and consumption and healthy lifestyle development agenda. Globally, LOAMCP-PH aims to significantly contribute to the achievement of interdependent SDGs 2030 specifically in Goal 1, Goal 2 and Goal 17. In the Philippines’ context, LOAMCP-PH on the ground initiatives are parallel implementation of the Philippine’s Republic Act 10068 or Organic Agriculture Law of 2010.
Sustainable food production and consumption are key to increasing both human and ecological capacities to cope with major challenges such as health, food and nutrition security, climate change and loss of biodiversity. The transformation of global food and farming systems is also key towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to this end, building effective partnerships and scaling up examples of practical solutions is highly important.
Climate Change is one of the greatest existential threats to all communities on this planet, especially small holder farmers who are the vast majority of the world’s farmers and produce the overwhelming majority of food that is eaten by people. Agricultural systems that regenerate soil organic matter by drawing down carbon dioxide via photosynthesis are more resilient to weather extremes caused by climate change. These systems can also make a considerable contribution to reversing climate change by drawing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
ALGOA, IN.N.E.R. , RI and LOAMCP-PH have established working models and living laboratories for transformation processes towards sustainable food and farming systems based on actions from local and sub national governments.
Many of the municipalities and regions of ALGOA, IN.N.E.R., RI and LOAMCP-PH are in rural areas and main activities are related to agriculture. As such, they produce food from the land with the supply also to the population living in cities and represent a cultural heritage with nature and landscape in living vital ecosystems. Seen in the perspective of the need for an integrated food system approach for healthy and environmental friendly dietary patterns, this opens up for developing new rural-urban linkages to provide more and better jobs for youth in agriculture and food systems and in general, a potential for the revitalization of rural areas.
Reference is also made to the Memorandum of Understanding signed 6 February 2020 in Rome between Asian Local Governments for Organic Agriculture (ALGOA) and International Network of Eco-Regions (IN.N.E.R.) with the participation and support of IFOAM-Organics International, IFOAM Asia, IFOAM EU, Baltic Foundation of Lithuania and Organic Food System Programme has been signed by the aforesaid Parties at the place and date specified below.
Furthermore, with the cooperation initiated we will also be working to support key initiatives at national and pan national level such as the European Green Deal and the Green New Deal in the US and in particular their focus to combat climate change and biodiversity losses and to build a new economic system that is more environmental friendly, supporting health and social fairness globally.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
The main objectives of this MoU are:
- To facilitate the sharing of the experience from processes, examples and knowledge from the Parties
- To invite other local governments of the World (Africa, Americas, and countries in Oceania and the PICT – Pacific Islander Countries and Territories) into the cooperation network and to form an example of a dynamic global organic food system.
Examples of issues to be dealt with are:
- Partnerships, resources available, institutions and working groups
- Youth engagement including Out of School Youth, training and employment in organic agriculture and food systems
- Practical achievements for organic farming, agroecology and regenerative agriculture in food and farming systems
- Policies and policy – making processes including needed structural economic, cultural, social and spatial transformations
- Innovation, new technologies and common research framework
- Preparing for a “new deal” between rural and urban (cities) areas
- Prepare a declaration to be presented during the next Organic World Congress in Rennes, France inviting other local governments of the world (Africa, Americas, and countries in Oceania and the PICT (Pacific Islander Countries and Territories) in the cooperation
- Expansion of cooperation to other similar groups, like-minded groups and civil society organizations
- Advocating the cooperation work in the international fora, UN agencies, and on regional and national levels
The Parties to this MoU agree to establish a working group for the fulfillment of the objectives and each of the Parties is encouraged to nominate a representative to this working group for the implementation of the objectives and activities of this MoU.
Lee Cha Young (ALGOA)
Salvatore Basile (IN.N.E.R.)
André Leu (Regeneration international)
Hon. Rommel C. Arnado (LOAMCP -PH)
Jennifer Chang (IFOAM – Organics International)
Zhou Zejiang (IFOAM Asia)
Eduardo Cuoco (IFOAM EU)
Vic I. Tagupa (LOAMCP -PH)
Arunas Svitojus (BALTIC FOUNDATION)
Jostein Hertwig (OFSP)