Context And Landscape Analysis For Food And Water Security: A Case Study In Southern Philippines
This research aims to examine food and water security in select areas of Mt Malindang as experienced and perceived by the local peoples, mostly Subanens, the indigenous group who lives and have ancestral claim on the land. This research is part of a broader agenda to draft effective and evidence-based management plan for Mt Malindang, a declared natural park and an ASEAN Heritage Park. Currently it nominated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This rapid appraisal research employs qualitative approach. The people in Mt Malindang is basically engaged in farming and land-based livelihoods and the economic landscape is also land-based. The study reveals that many of the locals now largely rely on foods bought from the market as subsistence production is rarely practiced. Respondents claim that soil alone is not dependable for food production – either for consumption or for the market due to soil degradation. A major cause of the loss of soil fertility is the extensive use of chemicals in farming. Mt Malindang is a huge watershed that provides ample supply of water as its headwaters is the well spring of numerous rivers, waterfalls and springs. While the headwaters are generally free from pollution, the major streams in the lowlands are already silted and polluted due to soil erosion , landslides and poor solid waste disposal. Some even noted that due to polluted waters, food resources in rivers and creeks are greatly affected while some already disappeared. Despite the vastness of Mt Malindang landscape and its abundant water resources, the locals are facing big challenges on food and water security. There are efforts done by locals, both by the local government and non-government organizations, but an integrated and comprehensive agenda to address these major survival concerns, especially in the context of climate change, remains a pressing challenge. Alongside with this major gap is the equally pressing concern of mobilizing the business-private sector.
Keywords: Food Security, Water Security, Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Mindanao, Mt Malindang