Tag Archives: environment

[Press Release] Groups Question Trash Shipments from Australia Passed Up as Fuel Not Waste -EcoWaste Coalition

Photo from EcoWaste Coalition website

25 May 2019, Quezon City. Environmental health and justice groups in the Philippines and Australia have joined forces to expose and question global waste trade that is using developing nations as convenient disposal sites for rich countries’ garbage.

This developed as the Bureau of Custom-Region 10 issued an “Alert Order” for nine 40 footer container vans from Australia loaded with 211.14 tons of waste materials declared as “municipal waste/processed engineered fuel (PEF). ” The shipments arrived on May 7, 2019, at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental and were destined to the Holcim cement manufacturing facility.

Subsequent waste assessment conducted by the Environmental Management Bureau – Region 10 found “pieces of assorted scrap plastic, cellophane, wrappers, chunks of hard plastic, textile, fibers, wood chips, glass cullet, stones, soil, paper, and other shredded materials,” noting that “the contents of the plastic-wrapped bales can be generally described as shredded municipal waste.”

“The export to our country of residual wastes generated by Australia’s commercial, industrial and construction sectors as fuel for cement kiln looks like a clever disposal scheme. Described as ‘municipal waste’ in the shipment declaration, Australia is able to dispose of its unwanted residuals and even profit from their sale by turning and relabeling these wastes as so-called PEF for export to developing countries like ours,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“This is a highly deceptive way of sidestepping the provisions of the Basel Convention to which the Philippines is a party by declaring the shredded mixed waste as PEF. In the recent Conference of the Parties, the Philippines was a firm supporter of the Norwegian Amendment which essentially would put a stop to plastic waste dumping,” said Beau Baconguis, Plastics Campaigner, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives-Asia Pacific and Asia Pacific Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic.

Jane Bremmer, Zero Waste Coordinator for Australia of the National Toxics Network, decried Australia’s “colonialist and deceitful approach to waste management by a country that should, and can, manage its own waste.”

“It is unethical for Australia to send its non-recyclable, residual municipal waste, rebadged as ‘PEF’, to be burnt in cement kilns in other countries, effectively escaping Australian regulatory responsibility for its impacts, including the adverse human health and environmental impacts associated with burning municipal waste in cement kilns,” said Bremmer.

“Further, the global waste flow restructuring triggered by China’s rejection of imported waste from wealthy western countries is a wake-up call for Australia to finally act on the decades of deliberate neglect and mismanagement of waste in Australia,” she said.

“No longer can Australia ignore the dinosaur in the room. Waste stockpiles are growing and our environment, our atmosphere, and oceans are full of waste residues that cause irreversible and catastrophic hazardous and toxic impacts,” she added.

The groups noted that countries in Southeast Asia are pushing back as they urge the Philippines to show its strong resolve by immediately issuing a comprehensive ban on the importation of municipal, plastic, toxic and hazardous wastes.

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[From the web] EcoWaste Coalition Slams Botched Mixed Plastic Waste Shipment from Hong Kong

The waste and pollution watch group EcoWaste Coalition today denounced the latest attempt to dump into the Philippines mixed plastic waste this time from Hong Kong, China.

The incident reinforces the call made by the group urging the government to formalize as soon as possible President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders issued last May 6 banning waste shipments from other countries.

Last Wednesday, the group joined officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Region 10 led by Port Collector John Simon in inspecting a one 40 footer container van containing 22 sling bags weighing 25,610 kilograms of mixed plastic waste instead of the declared “assorted electronic accessories.”

“We are appalled by this attempt to bring mixed plastic scraps, shredded electronics and other residual waste materials in violation of our customs and environmental laws. As guardian of the gate, we cannot allow our country to be treated by others as a disposal or dumping site for world’s garbage,” stated Simon.

The shipment that came from Hong Kong arrived at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental on January 2, 2019 on board SITC Fujian. The cargo was shipped by Hin Yuen Tech. Env. Limited and was consigned to Crowd Win Industrial Limited.

“We denounce this latest attempt to bring into the country over 25 tons of mixed plastic waste from Hong Kong amid our nation’s ongoing efforts to send back similar illegal waste shipments from Canada and South Korea,” exclaimed Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“This is supposed to be a ‘trial shipment’ for some 70 containers. Thanks to the alertness and resolve of local customs intelligence and officials, our nation succeeded in stopping a potential avalanche of plastic waste and e-waste,” she emphasized.

Read more @www.ecowastecoalition.org

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[In the news] Agri, fishery groups cheer, jeer poll results -INQUIRER.net

The result of the country’s national elections, which could spell a stronger administration push for federalism and other controversial policies, drew mixed reactions from agriculture and mining groups.

Promining organizations chose to tiptoe around the poll results, while activist groups expressed dismay over the dominance of “convicted plunderers” and “political lackeys” in the winning circle of new senators.

Others gave credit to officials who managed to snag a Senate seat “through their track record.”

In an interview, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag), one of the biggest agricultural groups in the country, said it was not looking at the individuals but rather at “profarmer legislation.”

The group however cited the reelection of Senators Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe and JV Ejercito as a win for the industry.

“They’ve proven their support [for] local agriculture,” said Sinag chair Rosendo So. “We believe the people who delivered them their success were comprised of those from the rural sector,” he added.

As for neophytes like former presidential aide Bong Go and former Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa who ranked third and fifth in the latest update of the senatorial race respectively, Sinag said they were hoping that the two men’s “campaign of being propeople would be realized.”

But activist groups Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) expressed dismay over the results of the national polls.

“We see the dominance of traditional politicians, convicted plunderers and political lackeys of the Duterte administration in the winning list of senators. This does not bode well for transformative social change,” ATM said in a statement.

Click the link to read more>

Agri, fishery groups cheer, jeer poll results

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[Statement] Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is dismayed with the results of this elections

We respect the electoral exercise and the will of the people. But we see the dominance of traditional politicians (trapos), convicted plunderers and political lackeys of the Duterte administration in the winning list of new senators. This does not bode well for transformative social change.

We see new senators who are compromised by big corporate interests because either they were financially supported by business enterprises, particularly mining and extractive interests l, or they are actually beneficial owners of these corporations.

We are deeply troubled by the erratic performance of COMELEC as it failed to ensure the transparency and integrity of the electoral results, when it’s Transparency Server went down for several hours last night.

We expect this new Congress to sideline again the Green Bills – the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), the National Land Use Act (NLUA) and the Forestry Management Bill (FMB). These bills will never be passed with the newly-elected Senators who will stop the passage of these bills that will protect our natural resources and ensure that we are able to respond appropriately with the realities of climate change.

Our alliance is afraid that ChaCha will be fast-tracked and that foreign-ownership of mining companies and mining operations will be allowed. This will result to more displacement of rural poor communities and additional deforestations, as more areas will be opened up for more the extractive industries.

We anticipate the the federalism project will be fast-tracked as well, and we will be vigilant in working with affected communities and other environmental groups to protect our patrimony and natural resources from misplaced economic and industrial projects that threaten our environment.

We will re-group and assess the new political landscape that we are operating. We shall consolidate our members and work with local governments to resist the entry or expansion of more destructive mining operations.

We remain open to work with national government agencies and officials to pursue sustainable development, but we will continue to protect the rights of communities and individuals to a safe and sound environment, as enshrined in our 1987 Constitution.

We will resist traditional politicians, misogyny, authoritarianism, fascism and the rape of our environment.

We will continue to be vigilant as activists, feminists and environmentalists as we uphold all human rights for all.

Jaybee Garganera
ATM National Coordinator
nc@alyansatigilmina.net

ATM statement
May 14, 2019
Quezon City

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[In the news] How ‘green’ is your Senate bet? Group tracks candidates’ records -RAPPLER.com

With over a week before the May 13 polls, an environmental group ranked 24 senatorial candidates according to their track records in protecting the environment to help voters make an informed choice on election day.

In a statement on Friday, May 3, the Ecological Challenge for Change Coalition (Eco-Challenge) said it ranked former Bayan Muna congressman Neri Colmenares as the candidate with the best environmental track record, and former presidential aide Bong Go with the worst track record.

Eco-Challenge assessed the 24 candidates based on their “track records in policymaking or enforcement, policy pronouncements, direct or family interests in environmentally critical projects or programs, and campaign money trails.”

The group checked the candidates’ connections and positions on the following issues:

  • Big mining
  • Reclamation
  • Dams
  • Plantations
  • Dirty energy and climate
  • Environmental defenders rights
  • Charter change

“Voters have faced these issues of displacement, loss of livelihood and basic needs, and chronic poverty stemming from the worsening degradation of our environment and natural resources. They are highly motivated to deliver a ‘green vote,’” Eco-Challenge said.

Read more @www.rappler.com

—–
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[Press Release] EcoWaste Coalition Urges COMELEC-Authorized Agencies to Step Up Removal of Illegal Election Campaign Materials -EcoWaste Coalition

5 May 2019, Quezon City. The zero waste advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition urged all agencies duly deputized by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to intensify the ongoing drive against illegal election campaign materials.

“As the campaign for the midterm polls enters the final stretch, we can expect more candidates and parties to step up their last-ditch efforts to woo voters regardless of the COMELEC rules on lawful election propaganda,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“To encourage respect for the rule of law, we urge agencies authorized by the COMELEC to conduct nonstop removal operations of posters and other campaign materials that are oversized or displayed in forbidden places,” she said.

“Despite repeated COMELEC warning, we find lots of campaign materials nailed or stapled on trees, or hanging in lamp posts, bridges, waiting sheds and other inappropriate places,” she said.

Among the agencies designated by the COMELEC for the purpose of dismantling unlawful campaign, materials are the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, and Transportation, the Metro Manila Development Authority, and the Philippine National Police.

On Saturday, the PNP reported tearing down over 245,000 oversized and misplaced election campaign materials nationwide.

“Taking down illegal campaign materials will promote an even playing field for all political aspirants and parties, as well as protect public health and the environment,” Lucero said.

The group likewise requested the Department of Education to reiterate the ban on posting or hanging of campaign materials within the school premises, which also serve as polling places, including grounds in front of a school as well as the fences, walls, and sidewalks around it.

“We further request concerned agencies and the general public to recycle or repurpose election posters, leaflets, and other propaganda materials to conserve resources and to cut the volume of election-related garbage requiring disposal,” she added.

COMELEC Resolution No. 10488 allows “posters made of cloth, paper, cardboard or any other material, whether framed or posted, with an area not exceeding two feet by three feet,” and prohibits the display of such posters “outside authorized common poster areas, in public places, or in private properties without the consent of the owner.”

Among other places, election campaign posters are not allowed in “public places” such as “waiting sheds, sidewalks, street and lamp posts, electric posts and wires, traffic signages and other signboards erected on public property, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses, flyovers and underpasses, bridges, main thoroughfares, and center islands of roads and highways.”

The same resolution encourages parties and candidates “to use recyclable and environment-friendly materials and avoid those that contain hazardous chemicals and substances in the production of their campaign and election propaganda.”

 

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[Press Release] Groups Welcome Canada’s Offer to Take Back Trash, Calls for Transparency to Ensure Nation’s Interest is Served Well -EcoWaste Coalition

3 May 2019, Quezon City. Environmental health and justice groups have welcomed Canada’s offer to get their garbage in the Philippines re-exported to its origin.

As reported yesterday by the Canadian media, the government of Canada has sent “a formal offer” to the government of the Philippines to have the illegal garbage shipments that arrived in the Port of Manila from 2013 to 2014 returned to the Port of Vancouver.

“While we are not aware yet of the terms and conditions, we welcome the offer made by the Canadian government as a very positive development that will hopefully result to the re-export of their garbage on or before the May 15 deadline,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Our nation’s persistence to get the garbage returned to the ‘state of export’ has raised national as well as global awareness about the responsibility of waste exporting countries to respect the rights of people in developing countries and for them to live up to their obligations as parties to the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes,” she said. The Triple Conference of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions is currently in progress in Geneva, Switzerland from April 29 to May 10.

To recall, Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez gave the Bureau of Customs until May 15 to return the garbage to Canada following President Rodrigo Duterte’s stern warning last April 23 against the long-delayed repatriation of the illegal trash shipments. On April 29, environmental and community activists staged a protest action outside the Canadian Embassy to demand the immediate re-shipment of the wastes. Prior to these local developments, the Canada-based Pacific Center for Environmental Law and Litigation issued a legal opinion on April 10 strongly arguing that Canada has violated the Basel Convention in respect of the illegal traffic waste from Canada to the Philippines.

“As this is a matter of public interest, we request the authorities to fully disclose the offer made by Canada so the people can see and assess for themselves if the terms and conditions, if any, are in line with our national laws and Canada’s obligations under the Basel Convention. There ought to be a complete inventory and accounting of Canada’s wastes in the country,” Lucero emphasized.

For his part, environmentalist Rene Pineda said: “Prudence and the law dictate that the Canadian government should cover the cost of the repatriation of its waste, including the reimbursement of the expenses of the Philippine government for holding it for many years.”

A GAIA report, Discarded: communities on the frontlines of the global plastic crisis, released two weeks ago documents some of the environmental, health, social and economic impacts on communities in Southeast Asia as they receive more waste from the developing world following China’s decision to cut down on plastic waste imports.

“Communities are resisting the plastic waste dumping in the region. Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and India are following in China’s footsteps and have issued bans or restrictions on plastic waste imports. We hope this signals the start of developed countries taking responsibility for their waste throughout the region and recognizing that the right to a good quality of life and healthful ecology does not belong to them solely. It is a right given to all of humanity,” said Beau Baconguis, Regional Plastics Campaigner for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.

From 2013 to 2014, a total of 103 shipping containers of mixed household garbage from Canada disguised as scrap plastics for recycling reached the Philippine shores. Twenty-six of these 103 containers were illegally disposed of at a landfill in Tarlac in 2015 until exposed and halted by furious citizens and officials.

A waste characterization study conducted by the government in 2014 confirmed that 64% of the garbage shipments were residuals, which can no longer be recycled and should be properly disposed of.

Environmental health and justice activists alongside government officials, lawmakers, labor and church leaders have long insisted on the re-export of the Canadian garbage stressing that the Philippines is not a global dumpsite for the trash of the world.

-end-

Reference:

Canadian news re Canada’s offer to take back garbage dumped in the Philippines:

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2019/05/02/garbage-war_a_23720880/

Canada makes formal offer to bring home trash that Philippines threatened ‘war’ over

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[In the news] Residents, including tribe, oppose China-funded Kaliwa Dam construction -CNN Philippines

Residents, including tribe, oppose China-funded Kaliwa Dam construction

Residents including an indigenous group living near the site of China-funded Kaliwa Dam in Infanta, Quezon said Thursday they are strongly opposing the project.

Members of the Dumagat tribe residing at the foot of Sierra Madre mountains in Tanay, Rizal fear that they may lose their ancestral domain because of the dam that is seen as an alternative source of water for Metro Manila.

Octavio Pranada, leader of the tribe, estimates that the project may leave about 11,000 of its members homeless.

Pranada fears that the water from the dam will destroy their farmlands, homes, and places of worship.

With this, he said they will do the best to oppose the project and refuse any offer of relocation.

“Kasi nabubuhay po kami sa bundok talaga, sa sariwang hangin, sa tubig, doon po talaga kami sanay.. pag dadalhin po kami sa Metro Manila, talagang baka doon po kami mamatay lahat,” Pranada said.

Read more @cnnphilippines.com

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[In the news] Green Scorecard to keep tabs on environment policies -PhilStar.com

Green Scorecard to keep tabs on environment policies

A coalition of environmental groups launched Tuesday its “Green Scorecard” for the 2019 elections, aimed at raising awareness of the voting public on the proposed environmental policies of senatorial candidates.

“Green Thumb Coalition’s Green Scorecard aims to bring forth environmental issues at the center stage of electoral campaign period, and to encourage the public and candidates to seriously consider a green electoral agenda,” said Norie Garcia of Bantay Kita, in a news conference in Quezon City.

Bantay Kita is one of the convenors of the coalition.

Read more @www.philstar.com

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[Press Release] Duterte administration weighed on environmental issues -Green Thumb Coalition

Duterte administration weighed on environmental issues

Photo by Green Thumb Coalition

A coalition of environmental advocacy organizations launched today its “Green Scorecard” for the 2019 elections, aimed at raising awareness of the voting public on the proposed environmental policies of senatorial candidates.

“Green Thumb Coalition’s Green Scorecard aims to bring forth environmental issues at the center stage of the electoral campaign period, and to encourage the public and candidates to seriously consider a green electoral agenda,” said Norie Garcia of Bantay Kita, one of the convenors of the Coalition. “Knowing where candidates stand in key environmental issues will not only enable us to choose the legislators that we need but to also hold them accountable, once elected, to promises they are going to make during this period.”

Bikers from the Firefly Brigade paraded with the environmental issues around the Quezon City Circle in launching the scorecard. Among the issues touched upon by the scorecard are: biodiversity preservation and ecosystem integrity; natural resource and land use management and governance; sustainable agriculture; waste management; climate justice; energy transformation and democracy; mining, extractives, and mineral resource management; upholding human rights and integrity of creation; and people-centered sustainable development.

“Positive developments tainted by destructive policies, inaction on envi issues”

The coalition also rated President Rodrigo Duterte based on statements he made as a presidential aspirant in contrast to decisions he made as elected Chief Executive.

“It is worth noting that mechanisms provided by our 15-year-old RE Law were only implemented under Digong’s administration, and so is the tax on imported coal. However, we cannot overlook how the approval of coal plant projects and coal operating contracts have been made easier at the expense of the public and communities with the President’s issuance of Executive Order 30 last June 2017,” noted Atty. Avril De Torres of the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED). “As a result, the Philippines has been derailed in achieving the global initiative to address climate change. This also jeopardizes the price of electricity in our country and our capacity to achieve clean, affordable electricity, as coal assets are expected to become stranded,” she continued.

In terms of waste management, the Ecowaste Coalition pointed out that Duterte’s DENR rolled out important Administrative Orders on effective control of chemicals that have negative effects on health and the environment. “Our battle against waste, both domestically produced and those coming from overseas, has yet to be won. While our nation‘s waste production continues to swell, foreign garbage dumping persists as well,” said Ecowaste National Coordinator Aileen Lucero.

“To make the matter worst, waste-to-energy incineration is disturbingly being touted as the way out of this garbage overload aggravated by the relentless production, consumption, and disposal of single-use plastic packaging, and by foreign waste importation. We need pro-health and pro-environment politicians, especially among the aspiring senators, representatives, and local government officials, who will speak and stand up for real solutions to our waste and pollution woes,” Lucero continued.

The WWF-Philippines took note of positive developments in the protection of marine and coastal resources such as the Boracay and Manila Bay clean-up, but raised concerns on reclamation projects, as small to medium reclamations are still rampant and ongoing around the country, with many LGUs are still planning for reclamation. “We are concerned over the Philippine Reclamation Authority being transferred to the Office of the President, as it may be a move to fast-track all the interest of big businesses behind the reclamation projects, which will definitely endanger mangroves and biodiversity,” said Atty. Gia Ibay of WWF-Philippines.

“The Duterte Government has failed to include people-participation in its development projects and programs with its Build Build Build agenda being mainly anchored on infrastructure development and investment,” said Manjette Lopez of Sanlakas. “Not only this but Human Rights advocates have been vilified and human rights violations have increased throughout the Duterte Government’s incumbency. Institutional human rights protection mechanisms have been undermined under Duterte’s watch,” she continued.

Mining organizations Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), Save Sierra Madre Network, SOS Yamang Bayan Network, and Bantay Kita took note of positive developments in mining such as the open pit mining ban, and the increase of mining taxes from 2% to 4%. However, they lamented, among other issues, the lack of transparency in the evaluation of mining projects, particularly the appeals process of the closed and suspended mining operations, and the lack of mining standards that factor in climate change vulnerability and disaster risk management of communities.

“This is why mining is an election issue. We should ensure that those who will be elected in government, at any level, should respect rights, and lives; and will promote life with dignity for all,” said Judy A. Pasimio of LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights). “Mining is the opposite of rights, life, and dignity. Therefore, we must not vote candidates who are for mining, involved in mining and supported by mining.”

Environmental concerns are women’s concerns

The press conference was led by women speakers, in recognition of March as Women’s Month. The Coalition’s leaders articulated how environmental concerns are also women’s concerns. “Mining is a women’s issue. As large-scale mining operations destroy the land, water, and forests, mining destroys sources of food, traditional medicine, livelihoods, and ways of life,” said Pasimio.

“According to the IPCC, women experience more vulnerability because of climate change, which is primarily fueled by dirty energy from fossil fuels,” said Oyette Zacate of Oriang. “We enjoin women to not remain mere casualties of the climate crisis and environmental destruction, but take leadership in rejecting a dirty future for us, the next generation, and the rest of society.”

For more information, please contact:
ANJ DACANAY
(+63915) 7828 118
greenthumbcoalition2016@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/notes/green-thumb-coalition/duterte-administration-weighed-on-environmental-issues/2291045644544071/

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[In the news] Bishop backs anti-coal campaign in central Philippines -UCAN news

Bishop backs anti-coal campaign in central Philippines

A Catholic bishop in the central Philippines has expressed support for a campaign against the building of a coal-fired power plant in Negros Occidental province.

Bishop Gerry Alminaza of San Carlos said local church leaders are giving their full backing for the move, initiated by a youth group.

“As our youth said, we will stand against this because this is about our future,” said the prelate on Ash Wednesday.

The group Youth for Climate Hope staged an anti-coal demonstration outside the provincial capitol building on March 6 as part of activities to observe the Church’s Year of the Youth.

The provincial government has also expressed its commitment to fight global warming by pursuing “clean and renewable energy projects” by opposing the establishment of coal-fired power plants.

Read full article @www.ucanews.com

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[Press Release] Small fishers call for pro-people rehabilitation of Manila bay -Focus on the Global South

Small fishers call for pro-people rehabilitation of Manila bay

The Duterte administration’s rehabilitation of Manila Bay is set to begin on 27 January but a group of municipal fishers around the bay are decrying the lack of community involvement in the P47 billion clean up, and are demanding a more pro-people rehabilitation plan.

“The government’s plan is anchored on restoring the bay’s waters to pristine quality, in order to make it safe for swimming again. It wants to employ a Boracay-style clean up in a body of water that is facing much more complex challenges” lamented Pablo Rosales, Chairperson of Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Mangingisda o PANGISDA, a national federation of fishers and fishworkers.

“For one compared to Boracay that has an area of 1,000 hectares, the entire coastline of Manila Bay measures around 190 kilometers from Cavite to Bataan. And more importantly, around 5 million people are living in the coastal areas around the bay, their livelihoods dependent on the bay’s resources,” Rosales added.

“Instead of consulting us and employing our assistance in the rehabilitation efforts as key stakeholders, the communities are being threatened of evictions and demolitions,” said Gilbert Reyes, of PANGISDA-Paranaque.

Environment Secretary, Roy Cimatu announced recently the government’s plans to relocate around 200 thousand informal settlers along the coast of the bay.

“What will happen to the small fishers in Manila Bay who are dependent on fishing for their livelihoods? How will the government address the economic displacement that will result from its rehabilitation plan?” asked Reyes.

“ Ironically, even if they sweep away the residents, including the fisher communities found around the Bay, the waters will remain unclean as long as they allow businesses and buildings around the Bay to discharge their wastes indiscriminately,” added Reyes.

The Supreme Court recognized the importance of the Bay’s fisheries in its decision for ‘continuing mandamus’ ordering key government agencies led by the DENR to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay in their different capacities. The Supreme Court, recognizing the importance of fisheries, ordered the Agriculture Department through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource or BFAR to improve and restore the marine life of Manila Bay. It is also directed the DA and BFAR to assist the LGUs in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan in developing, using recognized methods, the fisheries and aquatic resources in the Manila Bay.

“Fishers and people living along the coastline support the rehabilitation of Manila Bay. But it has to be about reviving and sustaining the life of the Bay and reviving and sustaining the livelihoods of fishers dependent on its resources,” said Reyes.

“Whose interests are really being advanced by Duterte’s Manila Bay rehabilitation? Unless the fishers and coastal communities become involved, it would be difficult to see how the plan will serve our interest especially since it involves grabbing communal resource like a portion of the Bay in order to convert and put it under private corporate interests,” asserted Rosales.

“It raises serious questions and deep suspicion among the people that perhaps the clean up is for another purpose? That the billion peso reclamation projects are really the driver of this rehabilitation effort,” Rosales concluded.

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[From the web] Green advocates call for “clean, green” elections

Green advocates call for “clean, green” elections

Photo from Green Thumb Coalition FB page

Candidates urged to veer away from waste, violence and embrace green platform
Civil society organizations gathered to call for a ‘clean and green’ election season, urging candidates to minimize waste, refrain from ‘dirty’ tactics such as political violence, as well as pledge to support genuinely positive reforms on many thematic issues on the environment, climate, and development.

“The Green Thumb Coalition (GTC) – the largest network of civil society organizations working on environmental policy believes that the candidates’ commitment to advance policies promoting the environment, sustainable development, and people’s welfare is reflected in the kind of campaign candidates are running,” said Paeng Lopez of Health Care Without Harm, head of the GTC electoral campaign. “Apart from their promises, their campaign practices reveal their loyalty – or lack of loyalty – to our environment and our people,” he added.

For his part, Tony Dizon of Ecowaste Coalition pointed that, “Even before the elections, we are seeing many candidates and their supporters engage in wasteful campaign practices by using unsustainable materials like tarpaulins, and generating piles of campaign-related wastes during their sorties. This is not a good sign that such candidates, once elected, will truly fulfill their responsibilities as good stewards of the environment.”

GTC called on candidates to commit to a zero-waste elections, urging them to produce less printed materials and other sources of trash, refrain from plastic banners/streamers, and utilize other means of avoiding waste in their campaign. Equally important, they also called on candidates to exercise transparency and honesty.

“On top of being clean in their use of resources, it is important that candidates who seek to be elected also maintain a clean track record free from engaging in political harassment, violence, bribery, and other forms of unethical strategies that erode the democratic process of elections,” said Fr. Angel Cortez of the Ecological Justice Interfaith Movement. “It cannot be understated how much the nation needs moral uprightness, decency, and respect for human rights to be restored in political affairs. Candidates, if they seek to prove their sincerity and win the hearts of their constituents, will choose to lead in this manner

Candidates urged to embrace Green Platform

The Coalition also encouraged candidates to align their platform with solutions to issues concerning dirty and costly energy, waste management, comprehensive land use, mining, climate justice, biodiversity, human rights, and sustainable development, collectively known as the Green Electoral Platform.

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera reiterated the importance of political will in pursuing meaningful change in many areas of environmental policy. “The protection of our rich ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as reforms in fishing, forestry, mining, energy, waste sector, and the entirety of environmental policy is not possible if we do not elect leaders who have the heart to end the suffering of farmers, fisher folks, Indigenous Peoples, and communities who are most affected by environmentally-destructive practices,” he pointed out.

Green Thumb Coalition Secretariat
greenthumbcoalition2016@gmail.com
0915-7828-118
8 January 2019
Press Release

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https://www.facebook.com/notes/green-thumb-coalition/green-advocates-call-for-clean-green-elections/2249392255376077/

[In the news] Most Filipino voters want candidates supporting ban on single-use plastics, survey says -CNN Philippines

Most Filipino voters want candidates supporting ban on single-use plastics, survey says

A new Social Weather Stations poll commissioned by environmental group Greenpeace found that most Filipino voters will opt for 2019 election candidates who will ban single-use plastics.

In the survey conducted in the third quarter of 2018, 73 percent of respondents said they would likely vote for a candidate who supports a law banning groceries, public markets, fast food chains and other establishments from giving out or using non-biodegradable plastic bags.

The same survey revealed that 82 percent of respondents will vote for candidates who will advocate strict implementation of solid waste management laws.

Read full article @cnnphilippines.com

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[In the news] DENR vows to enforce environmental laws, regulations aggressively this year -Manila Bulletin

DENR vows to enforce environmental laws, regulations aggressively this year

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has vowed to be more aggressive in enforcing environmental laws and regulations in 2019 to sustain the momentum generated by the rehabilitation of Boracay Island and other accomplishments of the agency last year.

“This year, I hope to send a strong message to environmental offenders and to the public of our seriousness in implementing and enforcing environmental laws, rules and regulations,” DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said.

Read full article @news.mb.com.ph

 

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[Event] Green Minded ka ba? -SEED NETWORK

Green Minded ka ba?

The PUP SEED Network invites you to join us in advancing environmental consciousness, and we’re more than excited to know and hear your stories and suggestions on the issues of Mining, Solid Waste Management and Climate Justice.

https://web.facebook.com/events/2076658299059339/

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[Press Release] Youth group calls for environment policy change not charter change -Y4R

Youth for Rights launches Green Mask Campaign
Calls for Environment Policy Change not Charter Change!

Photo by Y4R

A youth rights defenders group called on President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize changes in environment policies rather than changing the constitution.

Youth for Rights (Y4R), a group of young human rights and environmental rights defenders added its voice to the growing number of groups resisting the charter change project of the Duterte administration. In a forum dubbed “A.S.K. for your right to environment” held in Quezon City in July 14, 2018, the youth group expressed their concern over the proposal of the Cha-cha proponents to amend the provisions on Foreign ownership of businesses to 100% in the guise of federalism and the promises of development.

“The agenda to change the constitution, together with development aggression, that favor businesses over people will surely bring about more danger to our environment, affecting the next generation,“ Youth for Rights said.

“Green bills like the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB) are still pending enactment and mining operations continue to damage our natural resources and affect the lives of the people specially the indigenous peoples and rural communities. We demand the repeal of the mining act of 1995 and the enactment of AMMB and not CHA-CHA!” the group added.

The group also launched their education-action campaign dubbed as “Green Mask campaign” which aims to encourage millennials like them to A.S.K. for their right to environment. According to the group A.S.K. stands for A for Aral, S for Sama-sama and K for kilos para sa karapatan sa kalikasan.

“We the young people still maintain our potential as one of the drivers of change in society. We are the voice of the generation that will inherit the damages brought about by greed and disregard of the environment, the more reason for us to defend and assert our right to environment and urge the public for the urgent need to take action now,” Teod Cortez Bulan, Y4R Marikina said.

“The campaign is a series of education-information activities, networking with youth groups in schools and communities and creative actions,” Bulan added.

“We also get our inspiration from Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” which says that we should listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

The youth group ended the forum with their version of the famous Bboom Bboom dance by Momoland, “this symbolizes our resistance with the government’s plan to change the Constitution. We are dancing Bboom Bboom with a green twist and not CHA-CHA,” the group concluded.

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Facebook: @y4rofficial

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[From the web] Waste and Toxic Watch Group Deplores Piles of Garbage in MM Streets -EcoWaste Coalition

Photo from Ecowaste Coalition FB

Waste and Toxic Watch Group Deplores Piles of Garbage in MM Streets

Quezon City. January is observed as the “Zero Waste Month” and the streets of Metro Manila are strewn with garbage following the New Year revelry.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a waste and toxic watch group, drew attention to this ironical situation as piles of “holitrash” (holiday + trash) greet residents of the bustling metropolis on the first day of 2018.

The group took photos of mixed garbage comprised of food waste, beverage and food containers, paper and plastic packaging, remnants of firecrackers and fireworks, and discards from the customary end of year cleaning such as busted lamps and other unwanted stuff left abandoned in the streets and market areas of Caloocan, Makati, Manila, Quezon and Valenzuela Cities.

“The blanket disposal of all sorts of discards from the lively celebrations, including useful materials that should have been reused, recycled or composted, is deplorable. Waste isn’t ‘waste’ until it’s wasted,” commented Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Waste becomes a threat to public health and environment if it is not properly sorted out and managed in a safe manner that will not contaminate the surroundings, particularly the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our sources of food, including the rivers and the oceans,” he said.

According to the National Solid Waste Management Commission, Metro Manila generates about 9,213 tons of garbage per day of which 52 percent are biodegradables, 41 percent recyclables and 7 percent residuals. The national waste generation is estimated at 40,087 tons per day.

“Garbage trucks and dumps should not be bursting at the seams if we consume responsibly and if we keep discards separated so that the biodegradable fraction is composted or fed to animals and the non-biodegradable fraction is returned to the factories for recycling,” Alejandre pointed out.

“It is possible to further cut the percentage of residuals if companies will take responsibility for products and packaging materials that are difficult to recycle such as sachet packaging,” he added.

As the Zero Waste Month is commemorated, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to national and local authorities, factories, commercial establishments and the general public to take action to proactively prevent and reduce the generation of waste in January and throughout 2018.

The group specifically requested the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the concerned parishes to incorporate waste avoidance and minimization in the observance of the popular feasts of the Black Nazarene and the Santo Niño this January across the country.

“The churches and the faithful should aim for an eco-friendly and litter-free celebration of the feasts of the revered image of the Black Nazarene, particularly in Quiapo, and the grand festivals in honor of the Child Jesus such as the Sinulog in Cebu, Dinagyang in Iloilo, Ati-atihan in Kalibo, Buling-Buling in Pandacan, and Lakbayaw in Tondo,” said Ochie Tolentino, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

As per Proclamation No. 760 issued by then President Benigno S. Aquino III, every January is observed as Zero Waste Month “to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

According to Section 48 of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, “littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places such as roads, sidewalks, canals, esteros or parks, and establishment, or causing or permitting the same,” is prohibited and punishable.”

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Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Ecowaste-Coalition-232738115250/

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[Right-up] Mapanirang Minahan Wakasan -ni Doc Ben Molino

Photo from Doc Ben Molino FB

Mapanirang Minahan Wakasan
ni Doc Ben Molino

Mapanirang minahan agad ng wakasan,
Alisin na ang pulang putik sa baybay,
Patagin na ang mga stockpile,
Ayusin na ang lupang nawindang, at
Nilapastangan na mga pangisdaan.
Ipaglaban ang kinabukasan na sinira ng
Rekadong pula na lason sa lupa,
At asido sa tubig na pumapatay sa isda,
Nang kabuhayan muling sumagana,
Ganun din ang kapaligirang nasira.

Minamaliit ninyo ang mamamayan,
Inaalipusta ninyo ang kanilang dangal,
Narinig na ba ninyo ang kanilang dasal?
“Alis na kayo kahit perwisyo ay di na bayaran,
Hindi kayo ang aming kailangan,
At lalong hindi ang inyong panlilinlang,
Nagising na kami sa katotohanan.”

“Wakasan na perwisyong minahan,” ang kanilang sigaw,
“Ayusin na ang nawasak naming pamayanan,
Kaunlaran ang nais namin, hindi kamatayan,
Aning palay, gulay at isda ang aming buhay,
Samo namin sa pamahalaan inyong pakinggan,
Aksyunan na ang pagpalayas sa mga minahan,
Nang manumbalik na ang luntian naming bayan.”.

Follow Doc Ben @
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/benito.e.molino

Follow the campaign @
Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/kampongbayan/

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[Press Release] NGOs say NO to coal financiers JICA and Bank of Tokyo MUFJ

NGOs say NO to coal financiers JICA and Bank of Tokyo MUFJ

Photo from Tebteba FB

http://world.350.org/…/press-re…/no-to-btmu-and-jica-at-gcf/

SONGDO, July 5, 2017 — Today, 8 Japanese NGOs and an international coalition of civil society groups urged the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board to reject applications for accreditation from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

In a statement delivered at the 17th Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board, Japanese groups cited BTMU and JICA’s ongoing financial support for coal and extreme fossil fuel projects that undermine the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. These projects include controversial coal-fired power plants in Vietnam and Indonesia that are the subject of ongoing opposition from community groups due to their impacts on local livelihoods and violations of human rights. Both BTMU and JICA’s inadequate social and environmental protections for energy sector financing are cited as further justification for the rejection of their accreditation applications.

The statement was endorsed by more than 50 additional organizations and movements across Asia, expressed in an open letter to the GCF Board. In the letter, Asian organizations from more than a dozen countries echo the call for the GCF not to accredit these two institutions, stating that they are also witness to the devastating impacts of coal projects on communities and local ecosystems, as well as to the climate and the whole planet.

Alongside the civil society organizations’ statement, activists held a protest action this morning in front of the GCF Headquarters in Songdo, Korea, to urge the GCF board to reject the accreditation applications. A group of CSO representatives and activists converged with signage that read, “Green Climate Fund: No to Fossil Fuel Funders” and “No to JICA and No to BTMU”.

Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator – Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and Active CSO observer to the GCF said, “JICA and BTMU’s accreditation will send a signal that the GCF Board condones the continued expansion of coal-fired power and financing for fossil fuels globally. This conflicts with the Funds’ vision to ‘promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development.’ The accreditation of such institutions will be detrimental to the reputation of the GCF.”

Shin Furuno, 350.org Japan Divestment Campaigner stated of GCF’s application review: “The GCF has an opportunity to regain its integrity as an international institution tasked with financing the transition towards a zero carbon economy by rejecting the accreditation of institutions like JICA and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, which are major financiers of coal fired power and extreme fossil fuel expansion. At the very least, the GCF Board should require Accredited Entities to disclose their exposure to carbon assets and set clear metrics and targets to reduce portfolio emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.”

Ayumi Fukakusa, Climate and Energy Campaigner from FoE Japan said , “The Indramayu coal fired power project in JICA’s financing pipeline is in danger of breaching the human rights of local people and wrecking their livelihoods. By rejecting JICA’s accreditation, the GCF can send a message that support for so-called ‘clean-coal’ is inadmissible.”

The CSO statement to the GCF reiterates that JICA’s support for so called “clean coal” is inconsistent with GCF objectives to catalyze ‘a paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate resilient development.’ Similarly, civil society organisations note that BTMU’s substantial support for extreme fossil fuel development, combined with abysmal opacity in the company’s policies regarding fossil fuel finance, is incompatible with the GCF’s role in combating climate change.

Between 2003-2017 JICA provided financing in the amount of $USD3.7 billion (1) for coal power plants in India, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Many of the projects JICA has funded face strong opposition from local communities, like the 1000MW Indramayu coal-fired power project in Indonesia, which is currently in JICA’s financing pipeline.

BTMU’s parent company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) provided an estimated USD$9.57 billion in loans to extreme fossil fuel companies over a 3 year period during 2014-16 (2). MUFG massively increased exposure to coal power even after the conclusion of the Paris Agreement, increasing their loans of USD$845 million to coal power companies in 2015 to USD$2.16 billion in 2016, representing a 156% increase in coal lending amidst serious social and environmental concerns. In March 2017, BTMU signed a finance agreement for the expansion of Vinh Tan 4 coal fired power plant in Vietnam, which will likely increase impacts on marine biodiversity and air pollution caused by the existing power plant (3). In June 2016, BTMU agreed to finance the Batang coal fired power plant and the expansion of Tanjung Jati B coal fired power plant in March 2017 in Indonesia. Both projects are opposed by community groups due to their impacts on local livelihoods, marine ecosystems, human health, and violations of human rights.(4)(5)

While the coalition of civil society groups strongly rejected the accreditation of BTMU and JICA, they recommended at a minimum that the GCF Board should require both institutions to disclose their exposure to carbon-related assets, their investment policies to manage climate risk in line with the 1.5-2 degree warming scenario, and metrics and targets for decarbonizing their investment portfolios as recommended by the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures.

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