1-10 June 2023, Kauswagan, Lanao de Norte, Philippines: Asian Organic Youth Forum; ALGOA, GAOD and WOAA Summits; the 6th Organic Asia Congress

In June 2023, as every year, the organic world meets in Asia, with a special focus on Bio-Districts. This time it is the turn of the Philippines to host all the events:

1-4 June – Asian Organic Youth Forum
5-6 June – Summits of ALGOA and GAOD the world alliance of organic districts
6-9 June – Asian Organic Congress
7 June – WOAA Summit – Women in Organic Agriculture in Asia

The Municipality of Kauswagan lies along the coastlines of the Province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines in Mindanao Island. It is 30 minutes from the City of Iligan and an hour and a half away from the Cagayan de Oro (CGY) Laguindingan Airport, the gateway to Northern Mindanao.

“From Arms to Farms: Walking through the Paths of Peace”

Kauswagan is known for its achievements in organic agriculture that has improved the lives of its people through sustained peace and development with the charismatic leadership of Mayor Rommel C. Arnado through the “From Arms to Farms: Walking through the Paths of Peace” – an agricultural program that helps former combatants to reintegrate into society while addressing the food security problem. These combatants agreed to lay down their arms in exchange for farm materials and a decade later, they have become the most exemplary organic farmer leaders in the municipality. The poverty rate has decreased to 20% levels.

A person shaking another person's hand  Description automatically generated with medium confidenceThe program covered the areas of demobilization and food security through so-called Peace Path Workshops that sought to restore trust within the different groups of the community, for a durable ending to the conflict to be achieved over time. These workshops were led by the different organizations involved with the project and religious leaders and targeted as many parts of society as possible.

For its efforts, Kauswagan was awarded with the UCLG Peace Prize in October 2016 and an Honorable Mention of the Future Policy Award in 2018.

The Seat of the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities, Cities, and Provinces of the Philippines (LOAMCP-PH)

Mayor Rommel is the current President of LOAMCP-PH with more than 250 local governments as its members. It has strengthened its role in the organic agriculture movement in the Philippines with its contributions in the amendments of National Policies and in leading the National Organic Agriculture Program implementation by being part of the being National Organic Agriculture Board since 2020. LOAMCP-PH has been designated as the ALGOA Centre for Good Organic Governance in 2020.