Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Fisherfolk welcomes seed distribution in Laguna de Bay, calls to pursue fishpen demolition

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Fisherfolk welcomes seed distribution in Laguna de Bay, calls to pursue fishpen vlcsnap-2017-03-12-20h15m55s860demolition

Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday acknowledged the government’s dispersal of 5 million fingerlings in Laguna de Bay through the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The restocking of native fish species in the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake is part of the government’s campaign to rehabilitate inland waters such as lakes and rivers.

In a statement, the fisherfolk group said the seeding in Laguna de Bay is a welcome development for this will temporarily support the livelihood of small fisherfolk and fishworkers who were affected by the government’s campaign to demolish vast tracts of fish pens in the lake.

PAMALAKAYA together with environment alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) raised the demand to distribute fingerlings to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during the term of its former Secretary Gina Lopez. This is to solve the prevailing problem in the lake of fish catch depletion and to assure the fishworkers who lost livelihood due to fishpen demolition that once they return to open fishing, there will be enough fish to catch.

We are grateful that the government grants the demand of the fisherfolk for livelihood support. We still call for more fingerling-dispersal drive to convince the fisherfolk to return to traditional mode of fishing instead of being employed in private aquacultures in exchange for paltry allowance,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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With or without Lopez, demolition of fishpens in Laguna de Bay must proceed – PAMALAKAYA

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With or without Lopez, demolition of fishpens in Laguna de Bay must proceed – img_20170109_101828PAMALAKAYA

Manila, Philippines – Despite the rejection on the confirmation of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on her post by the Commission on Appointments (CA) on May 3, the national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) still pushes President Rodrigo Duterte and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to continue its anti-fishpen campaign in the 90 thousand hectares brackish Laguna de Bay which was spearheaded by Secretary Lopez.

We lament the rejection of Secretary Lopez as Environment Secretary; we have lost a dependable ally against large-scale mines that destroy the environment and the livelihood of the rural people. She shows that she is the most competent Environment Chief by standing firm against powerful giant mines without hesitation. She is also committed on seeking consultations with the grassroots to hear their views on government and corporate projects that will affect their civil and economic rights,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA said the campaign to dismantle vast-tract of fishpens in Laguna de Bay kicked off on January 27 where based on the data of LLDA, more than 1,000 hectares of aquaculture structures have been already ejected from the lake. But the fisherfolk group said it is not enough to restore the degrading lake for almost 60% of its total size is still occupied by wide fishpens owned by private corporations and individuals.

The government must continue to chase down thousands of hectares of fishpens owned by few big-time fishing firms and powerful individuals; some are local politicians and military generals conniving with the local government units and corrupt LLDA officials to monopolize and grab the rich fishing ground of small fisherfolk,” said Hicap.

The fisherfolk group said aside from dismantling of fishpens, Secretary Lopez was also convinced by the fisherfolk to stop all the reclamation activities in Laguna Lake that primarily contribute to its pollution and degradation and in order to rehabilitate the lake.

Whoever succeeds Secretary Lopez on her post should continue the pro-people policies that Lopez has started. We are already fed up by a traditional Environment Chief that is incompetent enough to prevent environmental plunderers from their destructive corporate activities at the cost of fragile environment and people’s lives,” ended Hicap. ###

EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on pro-people, pro-environment policies

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EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on

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Fishers, environment activists on Earth Day picketed DENR to push the agency for pro-people and pro-environment policies

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Manila, Philippines – Gathering at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) head office in Quezon, City, the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) and environmental activist Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (KALIKASAN) on Earth Day pushed Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to continue its pro-environment and pro-people policies, namely, the suspension of numerous large-scale mining operations that rampantly destroy the environment and the demolition of vast-tract of fishpens in Laguna de Bay that pollute its aquatic resources.

It is first time in our history that our environment Czar has prioritized the interest of the people and the environment over the narrow interest of the oligarchs. We laud Secretary Lopez’s persistent campaign against giant mining firms that destroy our mountains, forests and seas. Her anti-fishpen campaign is also highly notable as it is a long-time demand of the Laguna de Bay fishers whom for decades have been deprived of their common fishing grounds,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said during the protest.

Although welcoming Lopez’s actions, the fisherfolk group urges Lopez to also show objection against widespread reclamation and conversion of fishing waters that transform its productive fishing ground into private business ventures at the expense of its fragile marine environment and livelihood of the fisherfolk and coastal settlers.

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Fishpen demolition won’t lead to food insecurity, conversion will

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Fishpen demolition won’t lead to food insecurity, conversion willDSC_0016

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday clarified that the campaign to demolish vast-tracts of fish pens in Laguna de Bay will not affect the food security in the country as long as it would be followed by a proper rehabilitation of the lake that would bring back its natural ecology.

The government through Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez is leading a national campaign to liberate the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake from private and corporate-owned fish pens. This is in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to let small fisherfolk maximize and benefit from the lake, whom for years have been deprived of their communal fishing grounds due to fish pen proliferation.

Several fish pen structures have been ejected since January including the Gozon-owned fish pens in Cardona, Rizal measuring 100 hectares.

The fisherfolk group seen this campaign as a welcomed development for the restoration of Laguna de Bay for it will initially unwind the lake from further degradation caused by chemical-based pellet feeds use in culturing fish. Read the rest of this entry »

Fisherfolk supports Gina Lopez’ appointment as environment Chief

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Fisherfolk supports Gina Lopez’ appointment as environment Chief

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DENR Secretary Gina Lopez | Photo by ABS-CBN News

Manila, Philippines “No environment Secretary in the past has ever stood against giant mines as Secretary Gina Lopez does.”

This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday in support to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez’s confirmation on her appointment as environment chief.

We laud the sincerity of Secretary Lopez to cancel renowned large mining firms. This will not only spare the environment from further devastation but moreover, it will preserve the livelihood and communities of the people that have been always the casualties of destructive mining,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

In Mindoro, the anti-mining alliance Kaisahan ng mga Mindoreno laban sa Dayuhan at Dambuhalang Pagmimina (KALAS-MINA) scores victory after the DENR has cancelled the sharing agreement and compliance certificate of a foreign mine earlier this year.  The environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of the Norwegian-owned Intex Resources, the proponent of the multi-billion Mindoro Nickel Project were recently cancelled by the DENR under Lopez’s leadership.

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Fisherfolk backs Lopez’s termination of mining contracts

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Fisherfolk backs Lopez’s termination of mining contracts

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DENR Secretary Gina Lopez | Photo by ABS-CBN News

Manila, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez has earned the words of praise from the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) over the recent cancellation of 75 mining permits under the contract of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) operating mainly in the country’s major watersheds.

In a statement, Pamalakaya Chairperson Fernando Hicap said this will initially bring environmental and social justice to the struggling-people who have been resisting against large-scale mining operations for the protection and conservation of our environment and social rights of the people.

PAMALAKAYA said rural people particularly farmers and fisherfolk are always the front-line casualties of large-scale mining operations due to environmental and marine degradation inflicted by wanton mining activities.

We must say well done, Secretary Lopez. Her firm stand against large-scale mining is highly notable. Large-scale mining activities always pose threat to the community, economic and social rights of the rural people through community displacement, livelihood destruction and environmental disasters,” Hicap said.

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Laguna lake fishers, advocates picketed LLDA, DENR to demand rapid fish-pen demolition

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Laguna lake fishers, advocates picketed LLDA, DENR to demand rapid fish-pen

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Laguna Lake fishers protested DENR to demand rapid demolition of fish pens in Laguna de Bay

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Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) together with environmental alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) on Monday staged a picket in the offices of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to demand the immediate and unconditional dismantling of wide fish pens owned by large corporations and individuals in Laguna de Bay.

Vast-tracts of fish pens in the 90-thousand-hectare brackish lake are now illegal after the government ceases from issuance of permits in line with its campaign to dismantle fish pens in Laguna de Bay to give way for the utilization of small fishers who have been deprived of their common fishing grounds for years due to fish pen proliferation and congestion.

Conservative data from the LLDA shows that there are approximately 13,000 hectares of private fish pens situated in Laguna de Bay. But deeper study conducted by PAMALAKAYA and SLLM claims that 60% of the size of Laguna de Bay is currently occupied by private fish pens.

PAMALAKAYA and SLLM welcome the government’s anti-fish pen campaign, but said it should be done hastily for the small fishers eagerly await their fishing zone to be reopened again for common use.

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