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In Memoriam: Leonardo B. Rosario

It is with deep sadness and regret that we share the news of the untimely passing of long-time RSB friend and supporter Leonardo B. Rosario on June 26th 2021. Our thoughts remain with his family and friends during this difficult time.

Leonardo has been part of the RSB community for over a decade, since Trowel Development Foundation (where he served as Executive Director) joined RSB representing the interests of small-scale farmers in the Philippines. Trowel Development Foundation focuses on building resilient communities through sustainable development solutions and Leonardo led their engagement with RSB to bring the voices of rural and marginalised communities to the process of developing the RSB Standard and to projects on the ground.

Leonardo began his social development involvement as an agricultural extension worker for upland farmers after earning his degree in agricultural engineering from the University of the Philippines in 1984. He joined the Peasant Movement afterwards as a full-time staff for socio-economic projects and became one of the first advocates of sustainable agriculture practice in the Philippines. As an agrarian reform and rural development practitioner for more than 20 years, he became consultant to the Secretary of the Philippine Department of Agrarian Reform where he provided technical assistance and advice on project development and management including mobilisation of agrarian reform communities. 

He has managed projects on disaster risk reduction and management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, coconut farm development, food security and nutrition, marine biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihoods and social enterprise development, organic vegetable production, eco-friendly aquaculture, ecological mangrove protection and restoration, fishery law enforcement, cooperatives development, and social movement building

Leonardo participated in the Steering Board that transitioned RSB into an independent organisation in 2013, contributed to the development of the RSB Standard over many years, represented his chamber in the RSB Assembly of Delegates through multiple terms and worked as smallholder project co-ordinator for RSB for the duration of that project.

Most recently, Leonardo was elected to the RSB Board of Directors representing the social organisations of Chamber 3. We are deeply saddened that he will not now have the opportunity to bring his years of experience and commitment to the role.

Maiju Helin, Chair of the RSB Board of Directors: “This is a deep loss for the RSB community – Leonardo has been part of our ‘family’ for longer than most and has been a constant presence and engaged support for RSB as our organisation has evolved and grown. On behalf of the Board and Secretariat, I send our warm condolences to Leonardo’s family and friends and want to convey our gratitude for his years of service to the organisation. He will be sorely missed.” 

Leonardo B. Rosario passed away in Quezon City, the Philippines on June 26th 2021. His family can be contacted via his Facebook page, which is now being monitored by one of his daughters.

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