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Call to end mining, logging mounts

Widespread ban in the Philippines will help ’prevent many natural disasters’

Deforestation is affecting farming in Apayao province Deforestation is affecting farming in Apayao province
  • ucanews.com reporters, Manila
  • Philippines
  • February 1, 2011
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Environmentalists in the Philippines are urging the central government to adopt long-term and more permanent solutions to natural disasters, including the banning of mining and logging.

Victims of recent floods and landslides in the southern and central Philippines blame large-scale mining and deforestation for the disasters and are calling on the government to outlaw the practices.

“Open-pit mining is a proven environmentally-destructive method that causes tremendous devastation to communities and the environment,” said Sister Susan Bolanio, an Oblates of Notre Dame nun and spokesperson of the Socsargen Climate Action Now group.

Sister Bolanio has appealed to local governments to follow the lead of South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte provinces which have recently passed laws banning open-pit mining.

In the northern Philippine provinces of Apayao and Cagayan about a hundred people, including priests, Church workers and retired government employees have called on Manila to implement a total log ban in the area.

They say logging – legal or illegal – is responsible for the destruction of the environment and the flashfloods they have been experiencing in the past weeks.

Police and civilian armed militias have been harassing residents and preventing them from participating in protests against logging, according to one local Catholic priest.

Residents accuse the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and local government officials of conspiring to allow two logging concessionaires to operate in Apayao province.


Related reports
Two million Filipinos affected by floods
Environmentalists call for wider ban on mining
Priest, journalists ‘run for justice’

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