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News Release: Asian churches to strengthen movement for food justice

13. November 2012

    Church representatives in Southeast Asia will be consolidating a church-based movement for food justice in a capacity-building workshop being held in Manila, Philippines, 25-29 November 2012. The workshop is organized by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).

    The workshop will build on the existing capacities of churches in articulating a common vision for food justice in the region, develop specific work plans and strategies at national, regional and international levels, and strengthen networks for mutual support in campaigning against poverty and food insecurity in the region.

    Three keynote presentations will frame theological foundations and challenges for food justice. The keynote speakers will include:


    • Vic Tagupa, Coordinator, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines - National Secretariat for Social Action - Inter-Diocesan Sustainable Agriculture Network (CBCP-NASSA-IDSANet). Associate Professor Tagupa will share the network’s two decades of experience in sustainable agricultural development connected to Catholic Social Teaching.
    • Dr. Carminia (Chin-Chin) A. Gutierrez, most famous as an award-winning actress who has appeared in over 20 feature films in the Philippines and abroad, was named one of Time Magazine’s “Asian Environmental Heros” in 2003 for her campaigning on ecological awareness. She recently completed her doctorate in Asian Spirituality and set up the foundation Alaga Lahat to promote ecological wellness and sustainable lifestyles. She has been an active project leader and campaigner on ecological solid waste management, re-forestation, responsible mining and many other issues.
    • Rev. Rex Reyes, NCCP General Secretary, was appointed in 2007 and is the first indigenous person to serve as NCCP’s general secretary. Fr Reyes is from the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

    Sessions will document existing actions and experience of churches and partners that can be further enhanced. Field visits will demonstrate practical agricultural methods that increase yields while being financially and environmentally sustainable for small-scale food producers.

    Participants will learn from peers through case studies from the region, such as from Mr. Diony Yadao, Chairperson, Danggayan Dagiti Mannalon iti Cagayan Valley (DAGAMI). DAGAMI is a provincial organization of farmers in Isabela Province in Northeastern Philippines where a bio-ethanol plant was successfully shut down last August as a result of the organization's advocacy efforts against land grabbing and bio-ethanol, with active support by NCCP member churches in the province.

    Information on the major policy instruments and processes on food security regionally and globally will be shared through discussions with key resource people, such as Hon. Rafael V. Marian, who will share his experience as a member of the Philippines House of Representatives from Anakpawis Partylist, which represents farmers and workers.

    Workshop participants are expected from India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.

    NCCP, an EAA member, has a longstanding commitment to campaigning on food and hunger issues, and has developed a network of food campaigners throughout the Philippines. Through its “Food for Life Campaign”, the EAA is committed to strengthening the capacity of members for effective advocacy for food justice and the elimination of hunger. The EAA has convened workshops for this purpose in Nairobi in November 2010 for members and partners in Southern and Eastern Africa, and in Accra in November 2011 for members and partners in West Africa.

    The workshop is open to registered participants only.

    For more information or registration contact:

    In the Philippines: Minnie Anne Calub (mcalub@nccphilippines.org)

    For the EAA: Christine Campeau



    For past News Releases, see www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/news/

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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