A polycentric food sovereignty approach to climate resilience in the Philippines

Amber Heckelman, M. Jahi Chappell, Hannah Wittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
214 Downloads (Pure)


Enhancing climate resilience in agrarian communities requires improving the underlying socioecological conditions for farmers to engage in adaptation and mitigation strategies, alongside collaborative and redistributive community development to reduce vulnerabilities. To overcome barriers to climate resilience in the Philippines, a grassroots farmer-led organization comprised of resource-poor smallholders, scientists, and nongovernmental organizations have organized a polycentric network over the past 30 years to implement food sovereignty initiatives. We explore the extent to which the network's decentralized and farmer-led organizational structure; programming and services; promotion of diversified, organic, and agroecological farming systems; and political organizing and advocacy create broadly accessible and diverse pathways for resource-poor smallholders to build climate resilience. We find that the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-Unlad ng Agrikultura's (Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Development) polycentric governance approach directly addresses the root causes of vulnerability, particularly in working to reclaim farmer rights and control over resources, connecting local and global struggles, and revitalizing agrobiodiversity and place-based knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00033
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.


Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Bullitt Environmental Fellowship, Mary and David Macaree Fellowship, UBC Public Scholars Initiative, Liu Scholars’ Bottom Billion Award, Walter Jeffrey Memorial Fellowship, and the Richard Clax-ton Palmer Scholarship.


  • Food sovereignty
  • Philippines
  • Polycentricity
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Ecology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science


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