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Why Must Palawan Be A NO-GO ZONE For Mining - Save Palawan Movement Ms Gina Lopez

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Why Must Palawan Be A NO-GO ZONE For Mining - Save Palawan Movement Ms Gina Lopez

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Why Must Palawan Be A NO-GO ZONE For Mining
Presented by: Atty. Grizelda “Gerthie” Mayo-Anda
Founding Executive Director, Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)
Trustee Member, Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI)
Convenor, Bantay Mina-PNNI

Why Must Palawan Be A NO-GO ZONE For Mining
Presented by: Atty. Grizelda “Gerthie” Mayo-Anda
Founding Executive Director, Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)
Trustee Member, Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI)
Convenor, Bantay Mina-PNNI

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Why Must Palawan Be A NO-GO ZONE For Mining - Save Palawan Movement Ms Gina Lopez

  1. 1. Why Must Palawan be aNO-GO Zone for Mining<br />Presented by:<br />Atty. Grizelda “Gerthie” Mayo-Anda<br />Founding Executive Director, Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)<br />Trustee Member, Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI)<br />Convenor, Bantay Mina-PNNI<br />
  2. 2. The MAJOR MAJOR WHYs<br />Palawan’s Biogeographic Character (it’s rich biodiversity value vis-à-vis its thin topsoil, vulnerability to climate change, etc.)<br />Existing Laws and Policies governing Palawan<br />Experience on Mining shows that Costs outweigh Economic Benefits<br />
  3. 3. Other Considerations<br />Drivers of economic development are agriculture (farming and fisheries) and tourism<br />Weak environmental governance (weak enforcement, corruption)<br />
  4. 4. Palawan’s Biogeographic Character<br />Rich biodiversity: high endemism, habitat of wildlife, host to 40% of country’s remaining mangrove areas, 30% of country’s coral reefs, identified 17 key biodiversity areas (KBAs), 2 world heritage sites, 8 declared protected areas<br />Steep topography, narrow island with small islands, thin topsoil<br />
  5. 5. Palawan as an Island Ecosystem<br />“Palawan is composed of a long main island lying in a northeast to southwest axis and surrounding it are clusters of lesser islands…..The main island has a tall steep mountain spine running down its length fringed by narrow coastal plans protected from storm waves by fringing coral reefs and mangrove swamps. Although seemingly lush and bountiful, the environment of Palawan is fragile and its topsoils are relatively thin, poor and prone to erosion.” <br />(Source: Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan, Towards Sustainable Development, Prepared by the Palawan Integrated Area Development Project Office with the assistance of Hunting Technical Services Limited England in association with the Orient Integrated Development Consultants, Inc., Philippines and Sir Mac Donald and Partners, England)<br />
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Island Ecosystem<br />Physiography and Soils<br />Landscape is dominated by mountain and foothills which cover about 940,450 gectares or 82% of the total area.<br />Foothill and mountain landscapes are characterized by soils of variable depth, more often quite deep, and with excessive external drainage and high erodibility.<br />Its steep topography will render wide areas prone to erosion should their forest cover be removed.<br />The narrow shape of the mainland and the smallness of surrounding islands, will mean that erosion on the upper slopes will immediately and directly silt the coastal areas.<br />(Source: Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan, Towards Sustainable Development, Prepared by the Palawan Integrated Area Development Project Office with the assistance of Hunting Technical Services Limited England in association with the Orient Integrated Development Consultants, Inc., Philippines and Sir Mac Donald and Partners, England)<br />
  9. 9. Island Ecosystem<br />“Palawan’s forests support a unique and highly diverse flora and fauna…Many of Palawan’s fauna are unique and are considered rare, threatened or endangered.”<br />With few botanical expeditions in the past, many botanists feel that there are more undiscovered species of plants. <br />Such diversity serve as basis for declaring Palawan as a “Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary” in 1967, as Mangrove Reserve in 1981 and as part of UNESCO’s “Man and Biosphere Reserve”.<br />“Last Frontier” description signifies abundant and untapped resources, relatively unravaged by resource overexploitation. <br /> (Source: SEP document)<br />
  10. 10. PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY…<br /><ul><li>13 species of seagrass recorded in Palawan (81% of the known seagrass species in the country)
  11. 11. 31 species of mangroves in Palawan (90% of the known mangrove species in the country)
  12. 12. 44,500 hectares of mangrove forests in Palawan (40% of the remaining mangroves in the country)
  13. 13. 379 species of corals (82% of the total coral species recorded in the entire country)
  14. 14. 89% of total reef fish recorded in the country is found in the corridor
  15. 15. 4 of the 5 marine turtles are found in Palawan
  16. 16. 15 of the 25 recorded marine mammals are reported from Palawan</li></ul>(Credit: Conservation International)<br />
  17. 17. PALAWAN’S BIODIVERSITY…<br /><ul><li>18 species of freshwater fish is found in Palawan (50% endemic to the province)
  18. 18. 26 species of amphibians (25% endemic to the country, majority are confined to the corridor
  19. 19. 69 species of reptiles found in the corridor (29% are endemic to the country)
  20. 20. 279 species of birds (10% are endemic to the country)
  21. 21. 34% of bird species are migratory, making the region a vital flyway for migratory birds
  22. 22. 58 species of terrestrial mammals are recorded, 19 or 33% are endemic to the country, 16 are restricted to the corridor</li></ul>(Credit: Conservation International)<br />
  23. 23. E.O. 578 Establishing the National Policy on Biological Diversity throughout the country…<br />Sec. 3 …establishment of critical habitats within Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs)…<br />128 Key Biodiversity Areas in the Philippines<br /> (Credit: Conservation International)<br />
  24. 24. <ul><li>KBAs are “sites of global significance for biodiversity conservation, identified using globally standard criteria and thresholds, based on the needs of biodiversity requiring safeguard at the site scale. “
  25. 25. Identified for threatened amphibians, mammals, birds, reptiles, and freshwater fish, as well as for restricted-range and congregatory birds, using confirmed locality data for each target species.
  26. 26. 51 sites have been identified as Candidate KBAs, or research priorities; if additional data or surveys confirm the presence of target species within these sites, they too will become priorities for conservation action (KBAs). (Credit: Conservation International)</li></li></ul><li>KBAs on Mainland Palawan<br />(Credit: Conservation International)<br />
  27. 27. ADJACENT ISLANDS<br />(Credit: Conservation International)<br />
  28. 28.
  29. 29. Governing Laws and Policies<br />Proclamation No. 219 (1967) establishing Palawan as a Game Refuge and Wildlife Sanctuary<br />Proclamation No. 2152 (1981) establishing Palawan as a Mangrove Reserve<br />UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve<br />National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS, January 1992)<br />Republic Act No. 7611 (or the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan, or SEP law, June 1992)<br />
  30. 30. The Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan (SEP) or Republic Act No. 7611<br />Goal (“Development supportive of environmental protection”): improvement in the living conditions of the people of Palawan; increase Palawan’s economic contribution to the Philippines by developing its resources in ways that are environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and economically practicable.<br />Nature <br />a guide for deliberate action<br />provides the guidelines and strategies to accomplish the twin purposes of development and environmental protection (Source: SEP document)<br />
  31. 31. SEP as overarching framework<br />Basis for development planning<br />SEP is the general strategy for all development planning in Palawan. <br />Development plans of municipalities should conform with the SEP. <br />Line agencies should allocate the needed resources to implement their parts of the plan.<br />Strategy: Environmentally Critical Areas Network (ECAN)<br />Seeks to prevent further environmental degradation<br />“Serve as the integrative framework within which other recommendations in the plan will be implemented”<br />(Source: SEP document)<br />
  32. 32. SEP as overarching framework<br />ECAN<br />Graded system of protective management which will help ensure that no developments take place that will cause irreversible harm or loss of productive capacity to the natural resources of the island<br />General strategy for the protection of Palawan as a biological and cultural heritage area<br />Operational strategies<br />those which will conserve the relatively intact areas ecologically;<br />those which will restore the damaged areas into relatively stable areas ecologically<br />(Source: SEP document)<br />
  33. 33. ECAN as SEP’s central element<br />Rationale: <br />“The destruction of Palawan’s forests would trigger a chain reaction that would bring destruction to the entire environmental and ecological fabric of the province. The resulting soil erosion and loss of top soil would dry up underground and surface water resources, nullifying the efficiency of irrigation systems and waterworks……..There is an urgent necessity to stop this deterioration. It is not enough to rely on a network of Parks in the conventional sense, for this would be too limited in area and arouse distrust in local communities…..”<br />(Source: SEP document)<br />
  34. 34. ECAN as SEP’s central element<br />“SEC. 9 Terrestrial Component: Management Scheme and Zonation. – The terrestrial component may be further subdivided into smaller management components for a more efficient supervision. These management components, in turn, shall each be further subdivided into the following zones;<br /> (1) Area of maximum protection or core zone -This zone shall be fully and strictly protected and maintained free of human disruption. Included here are all types of natural forest which include first growth forest, residual forest and edges of intact forest, areas above one thousand (1,000) meters elevation, peaks of mountains or other areas with very steep gradients, and endangered habitats and habitats of endangered and rare species. Exceptions, however, may be granted to traditional uses of tribal communities of these areas for minimal and soft impact gathering of forest species for ceremonial and medicinal purposes.” (underscoring made by presentor)<br />
  35. 35. What has been the experience of Palawan on Mining?COSTS OUTWEIGH BENEFITS<br />
  36. 36. Destruction of Forests and Wildlife<br />Land Use Changes in a Nickel Mining Area (Credit: Conservation International and ELAC)<br />
  37. 37. Landsat Image<br />Prepared by:<br />Conservation International-Phils<br />
  38. 38. Landsat Image<br />Prepared by:<br />Conservation International-Phils<br />
  39. 39. Mined area of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation<br />
  40. 40. Water Pollution<br />Affected coastal area of Colandorang Bay, Balabac due to abandoned and unrehabilitated copper mine<br />(Photo by Professor Patrick Regoniel)<br />
  41. 41. Water Pollution<br />Affected coastal area of Colandorang Bay, Balabac due to abandoned and unrehabilitated copper mine<br />(Photo by Professor Patrick Regoniel)<br />
  42. 42. Pollution and Non-Rehabilitationof Mined out areas<br />Abandoned mercury mine site of Palawan Quicksilver Mines, Inc.. (PQMI) in Barangay Sta. Lourdes, Puerto Princesa City<br />
  43. 43. Pollution and Non-Rehabilitation of Mined out areas<br />Mini-lake created by PQMI mining operations<br />
  44. 44. Other Impacts<br />Soil Erosion<br />Case of Infanta Mining in Brooke’s Point<br />Non-Rehabilitation of Mined out areas<br />Silica Mining in Roxas<br />Mining of Nickel and Chromite by Trident Mining Corporation and Olympic Mines in Narra<br />
  45. 45. Abandoned Mine Sites in Palawan <br />
  46. 46. Insufficient SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS to the Local Community<br />Bataraza, Palawan: After almost 30 years of mining operations of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC), the municipality of Bataraza lags behind other municipalities in the delivery of basic services, such as electricity, water, transportation and education and remains to be among the poorest municipalities of the province. Data from the mining company contained in their 2001 Environmental Impact Statement for their Hydrometallurgical Processing Plant (HPP) Project indicate such poverty incidence. <br />
  47. 47. Applications for Mineral Exploration, Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) and Small Scale Mining <br />Permit (SSMP) in Palawan<br />(as of February 2008) <br />El Nido -4<br />150 has.<br /> Silica/Nat Gas<br />Taytay-12<br />30,820.50 has.<br />Dumaran -5<br />812.67 has.<br /> Silica<br />Bataraza- 22<br />60,642.30 has.<br /> Limestone, Nickel,HPP<br />Puerto Princesa City-42<br />112,154.67 has<br />San Vicente- 5<br />4,993.13 has.<br /> Silica<br />Coron- 6<br />573 has.<br />Roxas- 31<br />7,473.50 has<br />Silica<br />Aborlan – 79<br />69,502.92 has.<br />Brooke’s Pt. 37<br /> 121,969.35 has<br />Nickel<br />Rizal- 11<br />24,833.45 has <br />Nickel<br />Quezon-41<br />93,181.83 has<br />Nickel and limestone<br />Espanola -12<br />45,824.51 has<br />Nickel and limestone<br />Narra- 44<br />61,443.31 has<br />Balabac - 5<br />17,093.63 has <br />Nickel, Gold, Copper, <br />Chromite<br />Prepared by the Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI)<br />
  48. 48. Increase in Mining Applications<br />Seven (7) Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) and Nine (9) Small Scale Mining Permits were issued (as of December 2007).<br />Some 212 MPSA and Exploration Permit Applications, 144 Small Scale Mining Permit (SSMP) applications covering some 651,000 hectares of forest are pending.<br />
  49. 49. Trends in mineral use and development<br />1) Continuing increase in the number of mining applications<br />Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB) lists 215 tenement claims/applications for exploration permit and MPSA<br />Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (ENRO) lists 134 small-scale applications (as of October 1, 2007)<br />
  50. 50. Trends in mineral use and development<br />2) Mining activities in areas identified as core zones (old-growth and residual forests, endangered habitats and habitats of endangered and rare species), protected areas, watersheds, key biodiversity areas (KBAs) <br />Relevant Laws: SEP law, RA 7586 (National Integrated Protected Areas System), RA 9147 (Philippine Wildlife Act) and Executive Order No. 578 (Establishing the National Policy on Biodiversity throughout the Philippines)<br />
  51. 51.
  52. 52.
  53. 53.
  54. 54. Trends in mineral use and development<br />3) Non-compliance with pertinent environmental laws, with the terms and conditions of permits, and Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs)<br />
  55. 55. Abandoned pit during exploration <br />
  56. 56. Limestone quarry in Gotok, Sandoval, Bataraza<br />
  57. 57. Road construction by Narra Nickel Mining Corporation<br />(photo by PNNI)<br />
  58. 58. Small scale mining area of Platinum Group Metals, Inc. (PGMC); photo by Lorenzo Tan<br />
  59. 59. Photo taken by Conservation International (May 2006)<br />
  60. 60.
  61. 61.
  62. 62. Photo by Conservation International; Distant view of PGMC mine site<br />
  63. 63. Distant view of PGMC mine site; Photo by Conservation International<br />
  64. 64. Closer view of PGMC mine site; Photo by Bandillo ng Palawan (August 2007)<br />
  65. 65.
  66. 66. Portion of the RTNMC mining area and HPP complex showing the adjacent Mt. Bulanjao Range (Photo by Conservation International)<br />
  67. 67. Expansion of mining activities are being pursued in the Bulanjao range which is still covered with old growth and second growth forests. (Photo by CI)<br />
  68. 68.
  69. 69.
  70. 70.
  71. 71.
  72. 72. Continuing Issues<br />Policy Issues<br />Implementation of Small-Scale Mining policies (RA 7076 and PD 1899)<br />SEP ECAN provisions<br />Enforcement/Implementation Issues<br />Institutional Issues<br />Disruption of social norms and indigenous values<br />Transparency and Accountability<br />Governance (corruption and “double talk” in oversight of mining activities)<br />
  73. 73. Rhetoric vs. Reality<br />PCSD’s failure to implement the ECAN provision of the SEP law concerning natural forests (Section 9, RA 7611)<br /><ul><li>SEP clearances issued to mining applications covering the municipalities of Aborlan, Narra, Quezon, Brooke’s Point, Bataraza and Taytay
  74. 74. Approval of ECAN amendments despite non-compliance of SEP law</li></ul>Irrelevance and ineffectiveness of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP’s) in the conduct of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process<br />Irregular procedures in complying with Social Acceptability requirements (eg. Brooke’s Point SB endorsement of Macro Asia; barangay endorsements)<br />
  75. 75. Continuing Issues<br />4) Involvement of mining companies in partisan political activities (eg. local elections)<br />5) Large-scale mining corporations masquerading themselves as small-scale mining entities (eg. Narra experience)<br />6) Lack of transparency and accountability<br /> - PCSD’s refusal to provide copies of evaluation reports of proposed mining applications<br /> - Delays in release of pertinent documents by Provincial ENRO/PMRB<br /> - Refusal of mining companies to broaden number of NGO participants in the multipartite monitoring teams (MMTs) <br />
  76. 76. Continuing Issues<br />7) “Responsible Mining” rhetoric<br /> - current compliance of social development program requirements cannot deodorize or sanitize past failures (eg. case of RTNMC and CBNC) <br />8) Lack of capacity to monitor legal and illegal activities and resolve violations<br /> - PENRO and PMRB’s inability to efficiently and expeditiously address violations of small-scale mining permits and illegal quarrying activities (eg. gold panning in Roxas)<br /> (Note: PMRB’s plan to charge P5,000 as docket fees per complaint serves to deter would-be complainants, especially poor communities, from initiating complaints)<br />
  77. 77. Continuing Issues<br />9) Division of IP communities and distortion of their social norms/values<br /> - Non-recognition of consensus process and the role of indigenous elders<br /> - Cash pay-offs to IP leaders and members to secure consent (eg. Narra, Quezon)<br />
  78. 78. Continuing Issues<br />10) Superficial economic benefits felt by communities<br /> - delays in the remittance of revenues allotted to LGUs<br /> - Incomes from various taxes are offset by policies on investors’ incentives, such as tax holidays and exemptions on anti-pollution devices. (eg. RTNMC and CBNC enjoy tax exemptions because the HPP complex was classified as an Economic Zone)<br />
  79. 79. Giving more benefits to foreign and national mining corporations in the use of our natural resources under the Philippine Mining Act (RA 7942)<br />(i) preference of “mining rights” over “surface rights”; <br /> (ii) provision of “income tax holiday” under the Omnibus Investment Code o EO 226 and other “tax incentives” under the Special Economic Zone Act o RA 7916; <br /> (iii) Provision of ancillary rights like “timber rights, water rights, easement rights”.<br />
  80. 80. Other Adverse Environmental Effects<br />Allowing “open pit mining” (cheap, fast and easy to do but destructive to environment) which has been prohibited in the US and Canada<br />
  81. 81. Continuing Issues<br /><ul><li>The 2001 IMAPE (Impacts of Macroeconomic Adjustment Policies on the Environment Project) study shows that the average annual income among the affected households is lower than the average household income in Palawan.
  82. 82. In the poverty mapping/study of Palawan undertaken in 2005 by the Peace and Equity Foundation based on provincial government monitoring statistics, the municipality of Bataraza was classified as one of the bottom poor municipalities in the province. </li></li></ul><li>Superficial economic benefits felt by communities<br /> - Incomes from various taxes are offset by policies on investors’ incentives, such as tax holidays and exemptions on anti-pollution devices. (eg. RTNMC and CBNC enjoy tax exemptions because the HPP complex was classified as an Economic Zone)<br /> - delays in the remittance of revenues allotted to LGUs in the case of RTNMC<br /> - overextraction of mineral ores (in the case of PGMC)<br />
  83. 83. WHICH HAS MORE WEIGHT? <br />
  84. 84. “A 50-year old tree has a value of $193,250” (approximately Php9M)<br />$62,000 - oxygen, air pollution control and soil pollution control (Php 3M)<br />$37,500 - water (P1.8M)<br />$31,250 - organic fertilizer (P1.5M)<br />$31,200 – recycles (P1.5M)<br />$31,250 - habitat (P1.5M)<br />(source: Conservation International)<br />(Prof TM Das of Univ. of Calcutta)<br />
  85. 85. Some thoughts to ponder on…<br />These minerals took hundreds of years and several generations to form. For this generation to liquidate it in one fell swoop is morally wrong.<br />Mining is not an anti-poverty solution as suggested by mining companies. It has never been in the case of the Philippines. <br />The corrupting influence of the mining lobby must be addressed by good governance.<br />
  86. 86. Dumpsite within the mining site of RTN<br />
  87. 87. Palawan must be a MINING NO-GO ZONE<br /> Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape<br /> (slide credit: Conservation International)<br />

Editor's Notes

  • Wealth of biodeiversity
  • The water is toxic, not fit for swimming. Puerto princesa.
  • Infanta Mining is now renamed.
  • Examples of abandoned mining operation sites, reslting in un rehabilitated land.
  • Rio Tuba, the ‘lake’ is a mined waste dumpsite. When it overflows, resulting in decreased harvest, dead vegetation
  • Bottomline: Large increase in mining operations/activities
  • Residual- not old growth,
  • 2 mining concessions granted this year or 2010
  • Water sheds of mantalingahan
  • Negligent mining leaves open pits that are hazardous
  • Mined out nickel core in foreground. Bg forest already has mining permits. Before and after story.
  • Before and after
  • Rio Tuba, showing scope of mining operations
  • Non-compliance with safety measure. Truck of small scale mining operator
  • Mining affects agricultural produce. Polluted vs normal soil for farming.
  • People don’t want the mining. It takes away coral, biodiversity, clean air, trees, water, animals. Mining-never anti-poverty solution
  • The problem is nt in Palawan alone. One nation will make a stand, starting with Palawan. Cite effects of Ecotouruism in palawan under hagedorn contrast. Ecot projects: ie dolphin watch-tuna watching.
  • Viral signature campaign , for ban mining in Palawan.
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