[Press Release] Green groups end Women’s Month with book against mining -ATM

Green groups end Women’s Month with book against mining
Says women lead the fight with their own struggles

Women are leading the fight against destructive mining across the country, and their stories are told in a book launched yesterday by environmental and human rights activists. Gentle Treasures: stories of women against mining was released by Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) at Quezon City, marking their contribution to Women’s Month celebration.

“The launching of the book is a fitting occasion to commemorate the contributions of Filipino women in the struggle against destructive large-scale mining and the promotion of human rights,” said Dr. Nymia Simbulan, executive director of Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights).

Gentle Treasures contains stories of different women leaders, coming from various backgrounds, including community leaders, professionals, legislators, elected local officials and activists. One of the stories tell how Representative Kaka Bag-ao of Akbayan Partylist continue to push for the repeal of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and champion the alternative mineral management bill in Congress. Also featured are the struggles of indigenous peoples, such as Ka Badang, a Mangyan from Oriental Mindoro who led a hunger strike in front of the DENR in 2009, and Robina Poblador, a tribal leader of the B’laans from Sarangani Province, who bravely faced death threats for campaigning against the Tampakan Mining Project of Sagittarius Mines Inc. and Xstrata.

Judy Pasimio, an advocate of indigenous women’s right, related in the book that, contrary to the propaganda of a mining firm that “there is life in mining”, the women’s stories reflect personal misery, economic displacement, broken relationships and environmental degradation. “Is this the life we want?” she asked.

“Gentle Treasures reflects both the stories of women struggling against mining, and celebrating their efforts. This is our simple way of honoring them for risking their lives and sharing their expertise and resources to uphold human dignity, conserve the environment, promote sustainable communities, and ensure that the next generations still have enough resources,” said Anabelle Plantila, executive director of HARIBON Foundation.

Other stories in the book tell of the plight of Mayor Sadeka Tomaneng of Tubay, Agusan del Norte, and the volunteerism of Pearl Harder, a businesswoman in Romblon that triggered massive actions against a Canadian mining company, forcing the company to abandon its plan to mine.

“With this book, we hope that the public would understand that our opposition in mining is not just bounded by the unfair sharing of revenues in the mining industry. It covers important issues about women, including violations and abuses of human rights, disrespect to indigenous peoples and marginalization of women,” said Jaybee Garganera national coordinator of ATM.

“This is just an initial compilation. By the end of this year, we will be publishing a collection of more than 100 stories to expose the harsh impacts of mining across the country and how our mothers, wives, sisters and friends showed their strengths and courage to protect our land and Mother Earth,” Garganera added.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who are opposing the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The organization is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of Executive Order 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995 and the passage of the Philippine Mineral Resources Act also known as the Alternative Minerals Management Bill. #
For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator, (0927) 761.76.02, nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Dr. Nymia Pimentel-Simbulan, PhilRights Executive Director, nymia.pimentel@gmail.com
Anabelle Plantila, Haribon Chief Operating Officer, coo@haribon.org.ph
Judy Pasimio, judy.pasimio@gmail.com

Press Release
March 30, 2012

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