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Filipino peasant farmers locked in poverty

Sarina Locke, Wednesday November 20, 2013 - 07:52 EDT

Filipino peasant farmers will be the last to recover from the deadly typhoon Haiyan that struck 10 days ago.

A young woman representing peasant farmers opened the United Nations climate adaptation conference in Poland over the weekend, saying lands are concentrated to a very few powerful and influential families who "compose *one per cent of the Philippine population.

"Most of the remaining 99 per cent are poor. So the gap between poor and rich is too wide and farmers are the poorest sector."

Karen Tuason told the Global Landscapes Foundation in Warsaw that the Philippines needs help reforming land tenure laws for the peasants.

"They just stand their shacks in vulnerable places, and when the typhoon comes, their houses are destroyed and they have nowhere to go.

"We compare it with the farmers who have access to land. At least they begin to stabilise their economies, they have fixed assets they can plant on it."

Meanwhile, the head of the Filipino delegation, Yeb SaƱo, the Philippines' climate change commissioner, has gone on a hunger strike until a 'meaningful statement' is made at the UN Climate Change conference in Warsaw.

The latest typhoon is the worst to hit the country.

*figure has been corrected by Karen Tuason


© ABC 2013

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