Landcare Foundation of the Philippines (LFPI)

The story of landcare in the Philippines

Claveria the birthplace

Soil erosion is a significant threat to Asia’s productivity and prosperity. Caused by a combination of steep slopes, highly erodible soils, heavy rainfall, forest clearing and intensive cropping practices, it significantly reduces farm productivity and adversely affects water quality and storage, marine resources and biodiversity.

Sixty-five per cent of Asia’s 1.6 billion rural people earn their livelihoods from farms located on steep slopes of greater than 8%, where soil erosion rates are among the worst in the world. Most of Asia’s entire population lives in rural areas, where there is high population growth, extreme poverty, and insecure land tenure. So the impact of soil erosion is tremendous.

Nowhere is the problem more pronounced than in rural uplands of the southern Philippines, where it poses a grave threat to sustainable farming and poverty reduction. While lowland areas have much less soil erosion, they suffer the impacts of erosion from neighbouring upland areas, and have similar population growth and poverty problems.

Soil erosion in the southern Philippines uplands

Soil erosion in the southern Philippines uplands

Many projects have tried to tackle soil erosion but with little sustained success. Landcare is a relatively new initiative which takes a different approach. First used in 1996 in the northern Mindanao municipality of Claveria, Misamis Oriental, it brought together farmers, representatives of the Claveria Local Government Unit and technical facilitators from the World Agroforestry Centre. This special partnership helped farmers to tackle erosion by involving them in the development of conservation farming technologies for steep slopes, particularly the more farmer-friendly systems such as natural vegetative strips.

The farmers themselves coined the term ‘landcare’ to give the initiative an identity that emphasises the ‘bottom-up’ farmer-driven approach which differs from the more traditional ‘top-down’ processes. The initiative was an instant success; landcare groups formed and farmers across Claveria adopted conservation farming technologies at a rate rarely before observed in the Philippines.

Our Advocacies

Landcare will continuously support local initiatives for sustainable agriculture and natural resources management in the Philippine uplands and other ecosystems through action-research and extension services mainly in partnership with local peoples’ organization, local government units and other service providers in the environment and agricultural sector.

Specifically, Landcare’s advocacies are focus on livelihood development for small farmers within the context of soil and water conservation, integrated sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and mitigation and natural resource management.

Contact Us

Door 2-A, CST Apartments, Apollo St., Hillside Subdivision,
Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City
Philippines 9000
Telefax: +63 88 851 1224
Mobile: +63 917 726 5042