Tag Archives: Earth day

[Statement] Blinded by profit and greed, we must protect Mother Earth if we want to be healthy -ATM

Blinded by profit and greed, we must protect Mother Earth if we want to be healthy
ATM Statement for Earth Day 2020

On this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) strongly encourages the Filipino people to continue our efforts in safeguarding the environment from destructive large-scale mining operations and protecting the lives and livelihoods of mining-affected communities. It is during these difficult times that we must come together in solidarity. Because only by working together hand-in-hand can we end this pandemic and save our planet.

Various environmental groups and scientists have linked the emergence of the COVID-19 virus to the destruction of forests and essential ecosystems. The continued destruction of forests has led to the rise of temperatures, which in turn causes wildlife to change their eating and behavioral patterns. These behavioral changes lead to mutations that contribute to the rise of new diseases such as COVID-19. Allowing the continuous destruction of our planet for the sake of profit will only promote the cycle of climate change and pandemics.

However, in the past six weeks that the country has been under enhanced community quarantine, various mining companies continue to operate disregarding the health and welfare of their workers, and especially those of the mine-affected communities.

Mining companies continue to operate by bringing in heavy equipment and resuming construction activities in their sites, such as those documented by ATM in MacArthur, Leyte; Brooke’s Point in Palawan, and Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. Others have continued to transport and load mineral ores for export, in the cases of Homonhon Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar; in Aroroy, Masbate, and in the CARAGA Region.

There continued operations are a persistent threat to the lives of the community. These mining companies continue to operate, knowing that they had caused the loss of the communities’ source of livelihood and food when they polluted and destroyed their irrigation, forest resources, water systems, and coastal areas.

Additionally, mining companies have also resorted to violence and intimidation. In the case of Didipio, in Kasibu town, Nueva Vizcaya, a violent dispersal occurred during a sit-down protest to stop the entry of diesel tankers in a mine owned by Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI). This violent dispersal resulted in injuring several members of the community as well as arresting the Chairperson of DESAMA.

In the case of MacArthur, Leyte, a local community leader, the President of UNLAD-BLFFA, a fisher and farmer organization, received threats because of their opposition to the reentry of a mining company.

The continued profit-seeking behaviors of large-scale mining companies are the same behaviors fueling intensified development aggression. These aggressive development practices for the sake of profit are leading to the destruction of our planet. The destruction of the Earth has contributed to the rise of COVID-19. Thus, we must put a stop to this behavior of acquiring individual gains; after all, no individual can weather the storm of the pandemic alone.

ATM calls on the national government and the respective line agencies responsible to put a stop to the continued operations of these large-scale mining companies. We demand that the DENR immediately stop all these mine operations, as mining is not an essential economic undertaking. The DENR and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau must not be blindsided by the pursuit of profit and revenues from mining.

We also insist that all and any permit or instructions from the government related to allowing increased or additional mining activities are directly in conflict with the principles of the quarantine guidelines.

Secondly, we call on the local government units to support the call of its communities and protect their people from the risks and threats brought on by these mining companies. The Covid19 quarantine has already doubled the sufferings of mine-affected communities. Allowing the continued mine activities are increasing the risks and vulnerabilities of the rural poor.

Finally, we call on our brothers and sisters to continue to support the protection of our environment and the people affected by mining. We call on you to continue to seek accountability and transparency from our government to put a stop to companies that continue to destroy our planet.

Let us work together in safeguarding the environment and protecting each other. Only by working together and understanding each other can we weather this storm.

We can stay safe, but we need not stay silent. This is the least that we can do for Mother Earth.

For Alyansa Tigil Mina
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator
nc@alyansatigilmina.net
(+63917) 549-82-18 (also for WhatsApp/Viber/Signal)
@jaybeegarganera

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Press Release] Celebrating Earth Day Meaningfully in the Time of Coronavirus: Five Ways to Give Back to Mother Earth- EcoWaste Coalition

Celebrating Earth Day Meaningfully in the Time of Coronavirus: Five Ways to Give Back to Mother Earth

21 April 2020, Quezon City. As the 50th year of the Earth Day is observed on April 22, an environmental health organization has put forward five ways by which Filipinos from all walks of life can help to address both the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the climate crisis.

“There are many practical ways that we can help Mother Earth heals from waste, pollution, and destruction while we struggle to control and beat the dreaded new coronavirus,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Like the acts of kindness and solidarity that we’ve been seeing throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, the small and big changes that we make in the way we treat, care for and defend our environment have the potential of spreading on a large scale starting with our families and communities,” she said.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit organization working for a zero waste and toxics-free society, cited five ways to give back to Mother Earth amid the COVID-19 upsurge and the climate crisis.

“Embracing these earth-friendly ways will help reduce your carbon footprint while protecting public health and the environment against preventable sources of chemical and waste pollution and disease,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

1. Get started with a Zero Waste lifestyle as you stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19; know and cut back on what you throw away starting with single-use plastics that are designed and made to be disposed of after quick use.

2. Use your spending power to prevent and reduce the volume and toxicity of what you buy and discard during the COVID-19 enhanced community quarantine such as by picking non-toxic products with less packaging.

3. Segregate discards at source, and make composting of food waste and other organics a habit; plunge into home composting and gardening during the lockdown.

4. Properly dispose of used face masks, gloves, tissues, wipes, and other potentially infectious waste with care to ensure the safety of waste workers and to prevent the spillage of such waste into the beaches and the oceans, which can harm aquatic life.

5. Advocate for the enforcement of environmental and health laws and regulations from “no littering” to “no COVID-19 waste disposal in incinerators and crematories,” making sure your voice is heard, for example, through social media.

Home-based composting and gardening, the group pointed out, is a simple yet most meaningful way of giving back to Mother Earth.

“From my experience at home composting biodegradable waste using simple methods and finding ways of growing veggies and herbs even in small places makes me feel that this is one of the ways I can do my share. Each minute I care for the earth in mini ways I dedicate for the healing of everyone and our dear Mother Earth,” remarked Eileen Sison, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

The group also echoed the global call for climate action, as well as for socially-just and sustainable solutions to the pandemic, as the Earth Day is observed in the face of a devastating contagion that has so far infected over two million people across the planet, killed more than 170,000 – and counting.

As stated by the Earth Day Network: “The coronavirus pandemic does not shut us down. Instead, it reminds us of what’s at stake in our fight for the planet.”

“If we don’t demand change to transform our planet and meet our climate crisis, our current state will become the new normal — a world where pandemics and extreme weather events span the globe, leaving already marginalized and vulnerable communities even more at risk,” the global network said.

Reference:

https://www.earthday.org/campaign/digital-earth-day/

https://www.coronatracker.com/

Note: We join the rest of the nation and the world in observing a meaningful Earth Day 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. – EcoWaste Coalition

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[Statement] A Restrained Celebration for Mother Earth -ATM

Alyansa Tigil Mina Statement For Earth Day
22 April 2015

A Restrained Celebration for Mother Earth

On April 22, 2015, the world celebrates the 45th anniversary of Mother Earth. Alyansa Tigil Mina, a coalition of more than a hundred organizations joins this celebration of 2015 Earth Day. As an environmental and human rights organization, today is celebrated as we renew our vows of upholding environmental and climate justice. With this vow, we stand firm and vigilant to pursue justice. Sadly however, the glaring truth is that this celebration is not one of victory, but a swelling of renewed commitment drawn from defeats.

atm-logo

This is not a time for the country to hold its head high as the world celebrates mother Earth. This is a time for vigilance; a time to collect dues from those who are accountable for the continuous destruction of our environment as 2015 did not start off promisingly for environmental advocates especially to those upholding advocacies on anti-mining.

Assaults against Mother Earth were felt by anti-mining communities. The continuing illegal activities for the Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) of Blaans in Tampakan, South Cotabato; the lifting of suspension orders against mining companies in Zambales; MMDC’s disregard of the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur; the resumption of ore hauling in Manicani island, in Guian, Samar; the illegal expansion activities of Oceana Gold in Nueva Vizcaya; and just recently, the reinstatement of Intex’s Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) in Mindoro are all consequential proof of this. These were successful resistance of communities against mining companies, but have been reversed by misplaced government priorities and ineffective regulations.

As we commemorate Earth Day, we scream betrayal; betrayal from our own national government that paved the way for greed and injustice to overpower the welfare of our environment and our countrymen. To our government, to Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environmental and National Resources, to President Benigno Aquino III, we pose the challenge – is this the way to celebrate Earth Day? Is permitting the mutilation of our lands, our mountains, our bodies of water the way to show commitment to the betterment of our country? Will the less than 1 percent contribution of the mining industry to the country’s Gross Domestic Product be enough to disregard the victories environmentalists fought so hard to win for the environment, for climate justice and for Mother Earth?

With the worsening climate crisis, with disasters overlapping destructive environmental activities such as mining, it is so incomprehensible why the capitalistic intentions that prove to be major threats to our environment are prioritized by the very same institutions who have sworn to protect it.

We have heard promises time and again that the government is for the environment and the people but with all the reversal of environmental victories, continuous human right violations and abuse associated with mining, these promises are starting to sound like the new definitions of greed, deceit and betrayal.

As we renew our vows to protect our patrimony and our environment, we demand from the Aquino government to walk with us in the genuine “tuwid na daan.” We challenge the government to reclaim not just our lands’ dignity but their very own dignity as governing institutions as well. We challenge you to fulfill your duties to our environment and country. We challenge you to recall where your loyalty and commitment should be, and since it seems like you have been forgetting where they should really be, let us remind you that it should be to the Filipinos, to Philippines, and to Mother Earth.

Do not turn your back on us. Do not turn your back on our environment. No matter where you end up facing, our commitment to protect and preserve our environment will be there: Bigger, deeper and stronger. From every defeat we will rise higher, for environmental and climate justice, for our country and for Mother Earth.

###

Alyansa Tigil Mina is an alliance of mining-affected communities and their support groups of NGOs/POs and other civil society organizations who oppose the aggressive promotion of large-scale mining in the Philippines. The alliance is currently pushing for a moratorium on mining, revocation of EO 270-A, repeal of the Mining Act of 1995, and passage of the AMMB.

For more information:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (0927) 761.76.02 nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Check Zabala, ATM Media and Communications Officer (0927) 623.50.66 media.comms@alyansatigilmina.net

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Land use group highlights importance of proposed national land use bill in environmental protection -CLUP Now!

Land use group highlights importance of proposed
national land use bill in environmental protection

As the world celebrates Earth Day, the Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! (CLUP Now!) stresses the importance of the proposed National Land Use Act (NLUA) in protecting the environment and its inhabitants. Labeled as a ‘green bill’, the NLUA is aimed at managing the proper use of the country’s natural resources.

CLUP NOW

“Mother Earth provides us with everything we need, but are we doing something to take care of nature’s gifts?” stated Anthony Marzan, convenor of CLUP Now! “It is our responsibility to protect our natural resources, and this can be done through its proper utilization.”

“The proposed NLUA will not only protect the environment, but will also provide safety and security to every citizen, especially now that we are experiencing the devastating effects of climate change,” Marzan added. “Stricter land use policy is necessary to adapt to the changing climate. Balancing the use of our natural resources to conserve the environment and promote economic growth is essential amid climate change. The role of land use planning is profound in both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.“

NLUA champion and former Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Sano explained that even though there are existing environmental laws, these are not enough to protect people and resources from natural disasters. “We have policies and programs to regulate how we use our land and resources that can help avert crises resulting from natural disasters,” explained Sano. “But our experience with Yolanda showed us that these are not enough. We need the NLUA.”

The proposed land use bill sets guidelines in identifying areas for protection, production, settlements and infrastructure, to ensure that the country’s finite lands and resources are protected and utilized in a manner that is beneficial for all sectors of society and the future generation.

In an effort to inform a larger audience about the NLUA, CLUP Now! recently released a song on land use entitled, “Dapat Nang Ipasa (Awit ng NLUA).” The song, written and performed by Noel Cabangon, also has a music video that shows the benefits of having a national land use law.

“We are hoping that through the song and the music video, people can grasp the main idea of the NLUA,” stated Marzan. “The music video is one of our attempts to laymanize a complex law, and help the people understand its implications on the environment and in our daily lives.”

The music video can be viewed on the Facebook page and YouTube channel of the CLUP Now! Network.

For more information, contact:

Kim Alvarez, CLUP Now!, 0918-6545059, kbalvarez@gmail.com
Gillian Cruz, CLUP Now!, 09157830489, gillianmariecruz@gmail.com
CLUP Now! Network, campaignfornlua@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE
22 April 2015

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Labor group says poor needs living wage, regular jobs to adapt to climate change -CTUHR

Labor group says poor needs living wage, regular jobs to adapt to climate change

As the world celebrates Earth day this week, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights said that calls for living wage and regular jobs become more imperative especially for the urban poor in light of the country’s high vulnerability to climate change.

CTUHR logo

Based on the climate change vulnerability index, the Philippines is among the top 10 countries at extreme risk to climate change and Metro Manila is second to Bangkok as the most vulnerable city to climate-change related disasters.

The group recently published the results of its climate justice feminist participatory action research (CJ-FPAR) on urban poor communities lying along the Tullahan River in Metro Manila. The research revealed that apart from damage to homes and properties due to massive inundation following typhoons and prolonged southwest monsoon rains, urban poor women and their family members also lost days of work thereby lowering family income during and after the calamities. The report also noted that because of the precariousness of livelihood and employment urban poor women have, it becomes almost impossible for families to recover from disasters.

The CJ-FPAR is part of multi-country research, initiated and supported by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD), a leading regional feminist network that has a consultative status at the United Nations.

“Extreme weather events such as typhoons and consequent flooding in Metro Manila that occurred repeatedly and more frequently in recent years have aggravated the urban poor’s condition. Combined with poverty wages and informal or contract employment, these disasters will keep the poor ever mired in poverty. Building resilience and adaptive capacity of the poor to climate change should therefore include providing living wages, regular jobs, more viable livelihood and social services to the poor,” Daisy Arago, CTUHR executive director explained during a Solidarity Walk for climate justice held in Novaliches QC last Saturday, 18 April.

The Solidarity Walk organized a recently formed local alliance, Kilusan ng Mamamayan para sa Hustisyang Pangklima (KMHP), comprised of women organizations, trade unions and church people, called for decent work, livelihood, and rights as part of a “just” adaptation policy to climate change.

Meanwhile, CTUHR underscored that all talk of adaptation will be rendered useless if big countries do not significantly lower their emissions.

“Rich countries such as the United States benefit immensely from the use of fossil fuels and extraction of natural resources, while developing countries like the Philippines suffer the consequences of a warming planet. They have amassed and continue to amass huge sums of profits at the people’s expense,” Arago said.

“We call on the people to unite and strengthen calls for climate justice and build broader grassroots movement to end a system that is exploitative to both the environment and the people,” Arago averred.

For reference: Jane Siwa, CTUHR public information coordinator 09174682829.

PRESS RELEASE
20 April 2015

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Campaign] “It’s more COAL in the Philippines” -PMCJ

Resist Coal! RE-Energize All!

Its more coal in the PH by PMCJ

Join PMCJ’s pre-Earth Day Action Against Coal by liking our page and sharing the posters “It’s more COAL in the Philippines”. Everyday ’til April 22, 2014. We will publish the 9 coal affected sites across the country and the overall coal trail in the whole country on Earth Day.

PMCJ LOGO NEW

On Earth Day, April 22, 2014, join us in a nationwide action against coal.

“Like” the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH to keep you posted for plans on Earth Day.

Add your voice and be part of a growing movement shifting away from dirty and harmful coal projects in the country and the rest of the world – for our survival and for our future.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Featured Video] #Taomunahindimina! Campaign Theme Song

Listen to #Taomunahindimina! Campaign Theme Song original composition and performed by Fr. Oli Castor, PMPI.

Dapat Tao at Kalikasan Muna, hindi Tubo at kita. Dapat Tao Muna-Hindi Mina!

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

wk of disappeared copysign petiton2 small

[In the news] Zambales Participated in the Launching of “Tao Muna Hindi Mina” -www.allvoices.com

Zambales Participated in the Launching of “Tao Muna Hindi Mina”

allvoicesThe peoples of Zambales, one of the 80 provinces of the Philippines took the streets to join other nine provinces in the launching of the national campaign against mining dubbed as “Tao Muna Hindi Mina”.

The campaign is pushing for the enactment of the Alternative Minerals Management Bill and the respect for human rights in areas where there are mining operations.

Alex Hermoso of PREDA said that the mining companies and the government have been claiming that mining will help develop the Philippines, but in reality not one of the many mined areas in the country improved the lives of the people, study shows that after the mining operations, the people became poorer because their basic forms of livelihoods were destroyed.

Read full article @www.allvoices.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] Earth Day 2013: start of seed propagation & local site selection-Partido Kalikasan

Earth Day 2013: start of seed propagation & local site selection

Partido kalikasanGreens PH (Partido Kalikasan) commemorates EARTH DAY 2013 today with the launch of our NATIONWIDE REFO DAYS CAMPAIGN.

This campaign is initially targeting, this year, 100 local chapters of the Party nationwide to identify, set-up and maintain for perpetuity their own respective permanent local reforestation sites nationwide.

In the next 3 years, we hope to contribute 1M trees in 400 local reforestation sites nationwide.

This Earth Day 2013, we begin the process with the start of SEED COLLECTION and PROPAGATION.

The Party’s approach to reforestation is a combination of agro-forestry and rainforestation. Thus, all local chapters are hereby asked to mobilize their members at the household and community-levels to start up seed banks and nurseries of not just the appropriate endemic hardwood species but also viable fruit tree species.

Local chapters starting today will be asked to coordinate with appropriate local government offices like the municipal or city environment offices of the local government units, local DENR offices, NGOs working on biodiversity and forest conservation work and other groups, even private entities to identify the appropriate local reforestation sites that this campaign in perpetuity will be implemented.

The campaign is a MONTHLY REFO DAY in each local chapter’s selected reforestation sites starting JUNE 2013, during the World Environment Month and every month in perpetuity.

Planting and maintaining your trees is part of the regular membership requirement of all Party members.

The nurseries and seed banks will also be manage sustainably as social green enterprises by local Party chapters in order to sustain our work and even market seedlings and saplings of endemic tree species for other communities and groups engage in reforestation.

The campaign is inspired by successes in rainforestation approaches all over the country, including that of the many initiatives in rainforestation in Leyte and Eco Village development in Zambales initiated by some Party leaders over the past decade.

This is part of the Party’s CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION CAMPAIGN for both mitigation and adaptation purposes. Depending on what is priority in each locality where Party local ecosystem chapters are operating, this reforestation sites will be for terrestrial, mangrove and even urban greenbelts.

This is also a major component of the Party’s local Bioregional Green Agenda Program Approach called “ECO-VILLAGE GREEN DEVELOPMENT” where the requirement is 70% forest cover.

This is also our proactive contribution to the ongoing NATIONAL GREENING PROGRAM targeting 25M trees plated by 2016. Having said this, we remain consistent with our position that besides a serious national reforestation program, the following policies and programs for STRONGER MANAGEMENT OF LOGGING in the Philippines must be instituted:

(1) Impose a 25-year nationwide ban on all forms of commercial logging. In this ban, non-commercial use by IP communities and CBFM holders shall be allowed subject to close monitoring by local multi-sectoral bodies to be created to implement the ban

(2) Adopt with full financial, technical, institutional and legal support the community-based forest management (CBFM) as our national framework for forest ecosystem management.

(3) Build sufficient capacity & effective law enforcement against illegal logging.

The Philippines has less than 3% primary forest cover and less than 23% secondary forest cover. And even this figures are being contested. Studies shows that each island ecosystem must have 54% forest cover for it to sustain critical ecosystems that provide life-giving environmental services to communities, especially the poor.

In the 1900s we had 70% forest cover nationwide. By 1999, by some estimates, it was 18.3% While it has improve in recent years, the effects of deforestation, as aggravated by the ill-effects of climate change has cost countless lives and property over recent disasters. There is no denying that more efforts must be done.

For more information, please contact:

Roy Cabonegro
Secretary-General
Mobile 0916 2304515
Email: roy@greensph.org

—-
Partido Kalikasan (Philippine Green Party)
Website:http://www.greensph.org
Email: info@greensph.org
Telephone number +63 2 4358454 (TTH only) | Mobile Phone 0916 2304515
2nd floor, 80 Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/greenparty.ph

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[People] Earth Day with the Indigenous People by Fr. Shay Cullen

Earth Day with the Indigenous People

by Fr. Shay Cullen

How I admire the resilience and survival skills of the rural impoverished Filipino. It’s something to be celebrated and admired but the fact that millions of rural poor, especially many of the indigenous people, live at subsistence level is a cause for great concern, especially as we celebrate Earth Day this week. I went horseback riding to mark that event, not on pristine manicured lawns of the Manila polo club of the super rich who know little of harsh rural poverty, but to a remote Indigenous Aeta community in the mountains of Bataan.

The blazing sun beat down on our group of PREDA agriculturists along with the Fair Trade manager and Paul from Ireland. We rode small sturdy ponies with makeshift saddles and no stirrups that carried us up the steep mountain paths, along narrow trails and across the mountains. It was no joy ride I can tell you. But then two hours later under the Mango trees we had a welcome and an open-air meeting for the gathered families of Aeta Indigenous people. They told us of their hardships and their struggle surviving from day to day, planting and harvesting whatever would grow. Their children seldom went to school and there was no permanent teacher. The only one room, derelict building for miles around was supposedly a school. Some of the children had never been inside.

Earth day is everyday for them, their survival depends on the integrity of the environment. The Indigenous people know this all too well. They feel the global warming and the threats it brings to their lives. It’s a call for us urban dwellers to value our gardens, our fields and to reconnect with nature and realize how much we depend on every plant and rain shower to survive. The Indigenous people have lived that way for generations but environmental climate change threatens their already impoverished lives greatly.

They told us of the failure of the trees to flower, the bees that are disappearing, the violent storms that blow away their little bamboo and grass nipa huts as never before. Above all they told us of the way they are paid almost nothing for the produce they harvest and carry down the mountain wild mangos, sweet potatoes, bananas and rattan.

We had come to help them in their economic hardship. PREDA Fair Trade would buy all their wild mangos at the top fair trade prices, 100 percent more than what they were getting from the commercial traders we told them. They were beaming with delight at this good news. We explained that we would turn them into dried mangos and mango drinks then sell them to customers in the Philippines and abroad.

This is one way to protect and support the people who are most seriously affected by the loss of the natural ecology, the forest cover and wild life. Besides planting two thousand mango saplings every year, Fair Trade is giving back value to the forests and the people that care for them. We have a moral and spiritual bond to the planet that is the sources of all living things that our own survival depends upon.

Many urban dwellers have lost their spiritual bond to the earth when they lose a connection to the natural environment. They can loose their inner peace too. Our hike and visits to the many Aeta communities is to help them preserve the mango trees by giving them a stake in the market for their naturally grown fruit.

They are exploited and abused and they feel diminished, impoverished and oppressed by it. At present half of the mangos are not harvested and rot as the price given by commercial traders is not worth the hard work and effort of carrying them over the mountains. With PREDA Fair Trade they will get 100% higher payment for their mangos and the buyers of the PREDA dried mangos will be their supporters. They are now enrolled as members of the PREDA Small Mango Farmers Association and proud to belong it.

We brought rice and pork while they provided vegetables and cooked it in short bamboo sticks on an open fire and then served it on banana leaves. We shared it in the shade of the mango tree. One has only to walk and work in the burning sun to come to know the blessing of the cool shade of a tree.

Today many cry out to save the Earth, but they really mean to help and empower each other to save ourselves, our neighbors and Fair Trade in a more just society is one good way to do that. END

Need Help? Contact:
newsletters@preda.org
Privacy Policy:

We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information and to contracted service providers for purposes of providing services relating to our communications with you.

Physical Address:

Contact Fr. Shay Cullen at the Preda Center, Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Philippines. e-mail: preda@info.com.ph, newsletters@preda.org

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)
http://www.preda.org/en/news/fr-shays-articles/earth-day-with-the-indigenous-people/

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] Climate change and gender orgs join Earth Day celebrations -Aksyon Klima Pilipinas

Climate change and gender orgs join Earth Day celebrations

Civil society networks celebrated Earth Day early last Friday through a round table discussion on gender, health and climate change.

Aksyon Klima Pilipinas and Sarilaya, networks working on climate change and gender equality issues, respectively, also invited participants from other rural groups and non-governmental organizations.

“Earth Day should honor not only Mother Nature but also our own mothers and other women who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” said Aksyon Klima coordinator Rowena Bolinas.

In the case studies presented by Mary delos Santos, president of the Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), or the National Rural Women Coalition, which they undertook in areas from Bolinao, Pangasinan to Muug in Zamboanga Sibugay, women respondents in the communities identified the need for social protection in the form of affordable insurance for health, livelihood and disaster-related events.

“Women are differently impacted by disasters and climate change due to limited access to economic opportunities, dual roles in domestic chores and production, physical make-up and imposed social restrictions,” she said.

Women participants also urged the government and other sectors to recognize the engendered needs of women especially in times of disasters and with the worsening impacts of climate change.

“Women in evacuation centers are exposed to danger and violence due to the lack of privacy, security and unhygienic environment. They even fall prey to sexual aggression”, delos Santos added.

Esperanza Santos, Sarilaya’s advocacy officer, explained that water-related health concerns are but some of the many vulnerable points of women when it comes to dealing with climate change.

“Women need to wash much more often than men do. They are also expected to take care of their children’s hygiene,” Santos shared.

“Women also traditionally carry water into their houses and tend the garden, and we have accounts of members who are finding these roles increasingly harder to fulfil as the sources of their water are drying up,” she added.

Undersecretary Yeb Sano of the Climate Change Commission, Dr. Cecile Magturo of the Department of Health’s climate change group, Mina Tenorio of LIKHAAN and Max de Mesa of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates also spoke during the day-long discussion.

###
Aksyon Klima Pilipinas (Aksyon Klima) is composed of about 40 civil society organizations across the Philippines working on various climate change and development issues.

Sarilaya is a national organization of women committed to promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Contact: Denise M. Fontanilla
Advocacy Officer, Aksyon Klima Pilipinas
+639064387229, info@aksyonklima.com

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

MindaNews » Earth Day celeb marked with protest vs Tampakan project; protesters blocked

MindaNews » Earth Day celeb marked with protest vs Tampakan project; protesters blocked.

By Bong S. Sarmiento
April 22, 2012

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/22 April) — Hundreds of protesters flocked to Tampakan, South Cotabato to mark Earth Day on Sunday morning only to be blocked before they could march in the rich copper-gold fields assigned to Sagittarius Mines, Inc., Ryan Lariba, spokesperson of  the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region, said.

Lariba said their Solidarity Mission caravan was blocked in Barangay Pula Bato en route to the mines development site.

“This is plain harassment, we only want to peacefully air our support to the Lumads (indigenous peoples) who are against the Tampakan mining project,” he said in a telephone interview.

said some 500 individuals on board several vehicles from the religious, indigenous peoples and militant groups were bound for Bong Mal but two pick-up vehicles stood on their way.

He accused Sagittarius Mines and the 27th Infantry Battalion to be behind the blockade.

Bong Mal is the boundary between Tampakan town and Kiblawan, Davao del Sur that serves as a crucial artery in the mines development site.

John Arnaldo, Sagittarius Mines, corporate communications manager, said the company is are of  plans by some anti-mining groups to stage protest rallies and that it has “has always respected, and will continue to respect, the rights of communities to express their views and concerns through peaceful protest.”

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] President Noynoy Aquino accused of breaking promise to environmental groups | Sun.Star

President Noynoy Aquino accused of breaking promise to environmental groups | Sun.Star.

April 22, 2012

MANILA — Weak enforcement of environmental laws and endorsement of polluting fossil fuels as additional energy source mark the first two years of President Benigno Aquino III, an environmental group said on Sunday.

Greenpeace, which released the statement in time for the Earth Day celebration, said Aquino’s poor performance only showed how he has reneged on previous commitments to advance green goals.

To recall, then Senator Aquino stated that the country must shift to clean energy and technologies in response to the Green Electoral Initiative survey of Greenpeace and toxic watchdog Eco-Waste Coalition.

But for Von Hernandez, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, the President’s commitments have either remained in the realm of rhetoric, or have been undermined by contradicting policies or actions of the National Government.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Green Caravan set in Mindanao, Philippines | Sun.Star

Green Caravan set in Mindanao, Philippines | Sun.Star.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A MINDANAO-BASED environmental advocacy group will spearhead a “Green Caravan” on April 17 to 19.

EarthSoul Solutions Inc. is organizing the event in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in support to the observance of the Philippine Earth Day on April 22.

The caravan, which will be participated by local government units, government agencies, non-government organizations, business and private sectors, will start in Zamboanga City and will end in Davao City.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Wholistic approach needed to deal with mining problems | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features

Wholistic approach needed to deal with mining problems | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features.

By Caroline J. Howard, ANC

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is expected to submit to the Office of the President on Tuesday, proposals to tighten regulations on small-scale mining in the country.

The DENR has been tasked to review mining policy in the country on the heels of the landslide that left several people dead and over a dozen others missing in Sitio Panganason, Barangay King-King, Pantukan Compostela Valley.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the death toll stood at 10, with two more bodies recovered.

The discovery came just as retrieval operations were suspended to make way for the evacuation of nearby residents amid the threat of more landslides.

Authorities hoped to complete evacuation efforts of residents in the area at 5 p.m.

Residents agreed to voluntary evacuate after they were advised about  the urgency of leaving the landslide-prone area.

Read full article @ ABS-CBN news (Link above)

[In the news] Senate bill seeks increase in excise taxes on mining, quarrying | The Philippine Star News Headlines

Senate bill seeks increase in excise taxes on mining, quarrying | The Philippine Star News Headlines.

By Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines –  In a bid to help the national government generate more revenues and address the problem on the shortage of classrooms in several provinces, Sen. Ralph Recto is pushing for the passage of a bill that will increase the excise taxes on mining and quarrying.

Recto, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, has filed Senate Bill 2754 seeking to increase the excise tax on minerals, mineral products and quarrying, amending in the process certain sections of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

In his explanatory note, Recto’s bill recommends the increase of the tax imposed on minerals and quarry resources from two percent to seven percent. Although the ad valorem rate guarantees increased tax revenues during periods of high commodity prices, Recto said these increments are volatile.

“With the passage of this bill, the national government can look forward to higher revenues than it has collected in recent years. All things other than the excise tax rates being the same, the government will expect an excise tax collection from minerals and quarry resources amounting to between P1.7 billion to P3.3 billion,” Recto said.

Read full article @ PHILSTAR.com (follow the link above)

[In the news] Earth Day rites moved to April 25 | The Philippine Star News Headlines

Earth Day rites moved to April 25 | The Philippine Star News Headlines.

By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino has signed Administrative Order 12 moving the Earth Day celebration to April 25 from April 22, which falls on Good Friday.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa noted that Good Friday is also a non-working holiday.

“The President deems it best to move Earth Day celebrations to April 25 this year to allow more people to participate in the activities and make the occasion more meaningful,” he said in a statement.

Earth Day celebrations -coordinated worldwide by the Earth Day Network -are held to promote awareness on the need for environmental conservation because of the adverse effects of climate change.

Read full article at Philstar.com

[Press release] On Earth Day: “Remember those who have reunited with the earth” Victims organization cry justice for slain environmental activists – Hustisya

Source: One Palawan Facebook Account

AS THEY JOIN the Earth Day activities today, victims organization Hustisya called to “remember those who have reunited with the earth,” as they cried for justice for slain environmental activists.

“While Earth Day is a venue to discuss and address environmental concerns, we should not forget the environmental activists who were killed because of their staunch advocacy to defend the environment from plunder and destruction,” Hustisya secretary general Cristina Guevarra said.

According to Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights, there have been 39 victims of environment-related cases of extrajudicial killings, five of which were killed under Pres. Noynoy Aquino. Majority of the victims were actively campaigning against large-scale foreign-owned mining and logging in different parts of the country.

Not yet included in the list is the killing of Santos Manrique on April 12 in Compostela Valley. Manrique is an anti-mining activist who, along with small-scale miners and environmentalists, actively campaigned against the entry of large-scale foreign owned mining in the province.

“Environmental plunder will only bring destruction and displacement rather than development to poor communities. We should call for justice at the same time that we take up the issues that slain environmental activists have devoted their whole life to,” she said.

The group said it best to give the highest tribute to Dr. Leonard Co, Dr. Gerry Ortega, Jose “Pepe” Manegdeg, Armin Marin and other martyred environmental activists by continuing their call to stop the rape of our nation’s resources.

The human rights organization also stressed that the people should be made aware that the government’s anti-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan is not being implemented to bring in development to our communities. “It is an instrument to sow terror among the people who oppose these so-called development projects like large scale mining,”  Guevarra said. “It is for this reason that the culture of impunity continue to reign and that killings of environmental activists have persisted.”

Hustisya further explained the lies that Oplan Bayanihan intends to hide with its repackaged formula to win the people’s trust. “Anti-insurgency programs don’t bring in developments, it is under its name that large scale mining companies and big loggers can freely plunder our natural resources, even if it meant claiming the lives of those who dare stop them,” Guevarra continued.

Hustisya then challenged the Aquino government to hear the plight of thousands of Filipinos in danger of losing their homes, livelihood and lives due to environmental destruction and plunder.

“It is not enough to suspend applications of mining firms. The government should scrap the Mining Act of 1995 and other similar anti-people, anti-environment policies,” she said.

Press Release
April 19, 2011
Reference: Ma. Cristina Guevarra, Hustisya secretary general  0949-1772928

[In the web] Earth Day Appeal: “Put to Death” Acts that Harm Mother Earth – ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

File Photo source: ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

Source: http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

An environmental watchdog has urged Christian Filipinos to quietly mark the upcoming Earth Day on April 22 with a commitment to “put to death” destructive practices not only on Good Friday, but all throughout the year.

“We need not hold any bazaar, concert, symposium, protest or parade to commemorate the Earth Day, which falls on a Good Friday,” said Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“What is needed is a quiet personal reflection about the state of Mother Earth’s health and an earnest commitment to ‘put to death’ practices that are contributing to her ailment, destruction and demise,” he pointed out.

“Practices that cause environmental degradation are acts that both disrespect and diminish the integrity of God’s creation,” he added.

Being a day of fasting, prayer, contemplation and atonement, the upcoming Good Friday offers a rare opportunity to draw attention to the frequent “crucifixion” of Mother Earth that is happening all over the country 24/7, Alvarez emphasized.

“We ‘crucify’ Mother Earth every time we recklessly exploit, consume and terminate the natural gifts of the planet without any thought about the needs of current and future generations,” he explained.

“We ‘crucify’ her whenever we misuse the planet’s finite resources and when we unashamedly defile and contaminate the ecosystems with garbage and toxic residues,” he added.

Some of the often-ignored “bad” practices that harm Mother Earth and that caring Filipinos should refrain from doing include:

-ignoring the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) in our daily lives and thus adding to the garbage woes;

– thoughtlessly using and disposing plastic bags that choke rivers and the marine environment;

– dumping cigarette butts on sidewalks and other spots that do not only worsen street and marine litter, but also cause chemical contaminants in the filter to disperse;.

– dropping litter anywhere even in the most sacred religious occasions;

– open burning trash that yields toxic byproducts of combustion such as dioxin, particulate matter and other emissions;

– insensitively driving smoke-belching vehicles that emit health-damaging carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other pollutants.

“We invite everyone to acknowledge the myriad ordeals being faced daily by Mother Earth because of our uncaring practices. We need to put such practices to death in order to attain new beginnings for our nation and planet as Christ has shown the way to resurrection through his agony and death,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

[Event] Forum on the State of the Philippine Environment 2011 – Kalikasan-PNE

Center for Environmental Concerns, National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)

present

Forum on the State of the Philippine Environment 2011

on April 14, 2011 9AM at Balai Kalinaw, UP Diliman Quezon City.

CLEMENTE BAUTISTA
National Coordinator
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan-PNE)