EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on pro-people, pro-environment policies
EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on
pro-people, pro-environment policies
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.
Fishpen demolition won’t lead to food insecurity, conversion will
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
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.
Fisherfolk wants LLDA anti-fish pen resolution revised
Manila, Philippines – Responding from the sentiments of the Laguna de Bay fishers that small fish cages and fish traps (baklad) will not be spared from the government’s campaign against wide-fish pens in the 90-thousand hectares brackish lake, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) demands the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to revise its Board Resolution 518.
The Board Resolution No. 518 Series of 2017 was approved on February 1, 2017 in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to dismantle vast-tracts of fish pens in Laguna de Bay for the utilization of small and municipal fisherfolk. The Board Resolution states that wide-fish pens, fish cages and fish corrals will be dismantled to restore the lake.
The campaign against wide fish pens was lauded by the small fisherfolk from Laguna de Bay because this will bring back their common fishing grounds that were monopolized by big-aquaculture firms and individuals for years. However, they also fear that even small fish cages and fish traps/corrals known as baklad that are owned by small fisherfolk will be demolished.
“Forget the investment sham; let’s talk about the shattered lives of people”, fishers to Chamber of Mines
“Forget the investment sham; let’s talk about the shattered lives of people”, fishers to
Chamber of Mines
Manila, Philippines – The country’s biggest mining group Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has earned the wrath of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) over the formers insistence to continue its mining operations despite the closure order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to prevent our environment from further destruction caused by unrestrained, large-scale mining operations.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA calls the ‘economic growth’ claimed by the COMP as an absurd and one-sided growth.
“In what universe this group of mining firms has its ‘economic growth’? They even exploit our workers through unfair labor practices and safety risks. This one-sided industry rakes profit out of our rich minerals and resources and violates the socio-economic welfare of the people. If there is only sector that can savor the said growth, it’s probably the selfish interests of big-mining firms and not its workers,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Fisherfolk backs Lopez’s termination of mining contracts
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.
Spare ‘baklad’, small fish cages from demolition – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) told the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DERN) and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to exclude ‘baklad’ or fish traps owned and operated by municipal fishermen from the government’s campaign against enclosed fish pen and fish cages in Laguna de Bay.
The moratorium of fish pen permit in Laguna de Bay starts this year in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to dismantle vast-tract of fish pens in the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake for the utilization of small fishermen who have long been deprived of their communal fishing grounds due to fish pen proliferation.
‘Baklad’ is a kind of fish trap used by small fishers to capture fish and other marine species. Some small fishers in Laguna de Bay have resort to building ‘baklad’ because open fishing is not that suitable due to fish catch depletion caused by gradual deterioration of the lake. Nowadays, the average fish catch in Laguna de Bay is 2-3 kilos per day compared to 10-15 kilos per day before the lake deteriorates.