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22april 2009 Pr Address Climate Change Not Charter Change

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National Grassroots Climate Change Conference
20-21 April 2009
Balay Kalinaw UP Diliman

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22april 2009 Pr Address Climate Change Not Charter Change

  1. 1. 26 Matulungin St. Central District, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines Tel./Fax; +63 (2) 924-8756; E-mail: Url: 22 April 2009 Earth Day protest message: Protect the environment, Address Climate Change not Charter Change Several hundreds of environmental activists, Church people, indigenous peoples, peasants, fisherfolks, and scientists from Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon commemorate Earth Day 2009 by having a People's Parade and Caravan for the Environment that started from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and ended in front of the House of Representatives (HOR) in Quezon City. The said Earth Day activity paraded colourful and creative floats symbolizing emerging and important environmental issues such as the climate change, Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, large-scale mining, commercial logging, large dams and garbage landfills. A giant effigy of Mother Earth burdened and devastated by nuclear plants, coal power plants, denuded forests, chainsaw and mine tractors serve as the central float of the parade. quot;This symbolizes how the Philippine environment is experiencing massive plunder, degradation and pollution brought about by the policies and projects of the government that allows unsustainable and commercial extraction of our natural resources by private and foreign corporations,quot; says Clemente Bautista Jr. of environmental activist group Kalikasan PNE. quot;The devastation of our forests, mountains, rivers and seas has led to an environmental crisis that further impoverishes and threatens the survival of the people. Yet, given the country's dismal environmental situation, the Arroyo government remains defiant to reverse its policies and programs in the extractive industry of mining, logging and energy that are proven detrimental not only to our ecology but also increases the vulnerability of our people in coping with global warming,quot; explained Mr. Bautista. The Philippines has been called by some environmental experts as a global biodiversity disaster area. This is because of the very fast rate and high biodiversity loss in the country. The country also has been identified as one of the most vulnerable tropical countries to the impacts of climate change. quot;Worst in the eve of Earth Day, the Arroyo government and its allies in Congress are brazenly railroading the deliberation of charter change in Congress. They are courting more environmental disasters through Cha-Cha which will allow foreigners to own lands
  2. 2. in the country. This will give foreign companies more control to profit from our natural resources and ravage our environment. This we have seen and experienced under the Mining Act of 1995 which gave foreign transnational mining companies to own thousands hectares of our mineral lands,quot; Mr. Bautista remarks. By the beginning of 21st century, the Philippines has already lost more than 93% of our original forest which has been describe as one of the most rapid and massive in the world. Most of the deforestation sshas been caused by the extensive operations of commercial logging and mining. Forest denudation compounded by the effects of climate change resulted to the worst environmental disasters and tragedies in the Philippines such as the 1991 Ormoc flashflood, 1996 Marcopper mine spill, 2004 Aurora- Quezon landslide and 2005 Lafayette mine spill. quot;For the sake of our mother earth and our people, the government should address climate change and not charter change. It must halt and reverse its destructive programs and projects on mining and logging,quot; ends by Mr. Bautista. ###