Indigenous Peoples in the Forefront of Climate Change - Loren
September 10, 2011
Senator Loren Legarda today echoed the sentiments of the country's indigenous cultural communities over the ill-effects brought upon their livelihood, health, food security, cultural integrity and lands by extreme weather events brought about by climate change, further aggravated by irresponsible mining operations.
"It is lamentable that despite the fact that indigenous peoples contribute the least with respect to carbon emissions due to their simple and sustainable lifestyles and practices, they are most affected by the consequences of climate change," Senator Legarda, chair of the Senate Committees on Cultural Communities and Climate Change said during the assembly of representatives from indigenous cultural communities all over Luzon held at the Quezon Hall of the Teachers Camp in Baguio City September 9-10.
"There is an urgent need to assess the implementation of existing laws that protect the environment and the welfare of indigenous communities. The environmental laws have long been enacted and are in place. All we have to do is implement these existing environmental laws," the Senator said in reaction to the concerns aired by IP leaders who said that aside from the effects of climate change, their ancestral domains are being exploited by some irresponsible local and foreign mining companies who promise livelihood, sow disharmony over their communities and leave them in the end in abject poverty, environmental destruction and, worst, with toxic wastes.
Legarda said that based on the sentiments of the Luzon indigenous peoples during the assembly in Baguio-together with the findings and results of the assemblies still to be held in in Iloilo City on September 23-24; in Tagum, Davao del Norte on September 16-17; and their culminating event, the National Indigenous Cultural Summit in Manila on October 13-14, 2011-she will look into the compliance of existing mining firms with their obligations to protect the environment and the communities where they operate.
Legarda cited, for example, the provisions of Republic Act 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act, which provides that every contractor shall undertake an environmental protection and enhancement program covering the period of the mineral agreement or permit which shall be incorporated in the work, program which the contractor or permittee shall submit as an accompanying document to the application for a mineral agreement or permit.
"The work program should include not only plans relative to mining operations but also to rehabilitation, regeneration, revegetation and reforestation of mineralized areas, slope stabilization and mined-out and tailing covered areas, aquaculture, watershed development and water conservation and socioeconomic development," said Legarda.
The same law requires contractors and permittees to rehabilitate the excavated, mined-out, tailings-covered and disturbed areas to the condition of environmental safety. Likewise, a mine rehabilitation fund shall be created based on the contractor's approved work program, and shall be deposited as a trust fund in a government depository bank and used for physical and social rehabilitation of areas and communities affected by mining activities and for research on the social, technical and preventive aspects of rehabilitation.
Section 85 of the same law established a semi-annual Mine Wastes and Tailings Fee which is imposed on all operating mining companies to accrue to a reserve fund for the payment for damages to: a) lives and personal property; b) lands, agricultural crops and forest products, marine life and aquatic resources, cultural resources; and c) infrastructure and the revegetation and rehabilitation of silted farm lands and other areas devoted to agriculture and fishing caused by mining pollution.
Section 17, meanwhile, provided that "in the event of an agreement with an indigenous cultural community pursuant to the preceding section, the royalty payment, upon utilization of the minerals shall be agreed upon by the parties. The said royalty shall form part of a trust fund for the socioeconomic well-being of the indigenous cultural community."
Legarda stressed that if she were to have her way, "all I want for this country is to be clean and green and beautiful."
She added that in attracting investments for the country, we need to attract the kind of investments that will strengthen our resilience and bring about development that is sustainable.
"What we need are climate resilient-investments that will strenghten our communities' adaptive capacity in dealing with the impacts of climate change, unlike mining operations that leave communities poorer and more exposed to disaster risks than before," Legarda concluded.
Mga Katutubo, Biktima ng Climate Change - Legarda
September 10, 2011
Ipinahayag ng mga katutubong Pilipino kay Senador Loren Legarda ang kanilang hinaing kung paano sinisira ng climate change ang kanilang lupaing ninuno, kung saan nakabatay ang kanilang kabuhayan at kultura.
Ayon sa mga katutubo, sila ang unang napeperwisyo ng pabagu-bagong panahon at mga sakunang dulot nito na nakaaapekto din sa kanilang kalusugan at pinagkukunan ng pagkain.
Lalo pa raw lumalala ang sitwasyon sa mapang-abusong negosyo ng ilan, particular na ang iresponsableng mining operations.
"Sa lahat ng Pilipino sa bansang ito, ang mga katutubo ang pinaka-kaunti ang kontribusyon sa carbon emission dahil sa kanilang simpleng pamumuhay. Pero sila itong pangunahing biktima ng climate change," ani Legarda, pinuno ng Senate Committees on Cultural Communities and Climate Change.
Ito ang naging pahayag ni Legarda sa harap ng mga komunidad ng katutubo sa isang assembly sa Luzon na ginanap sa Quezon Hall ng Teachers Camp sa Baguio City nitong September 9-10.
"Kailangan na nating pag-aaralan kung naipatutupad ba ng tama ang mga batas sa pangangalaga sa kalikasan at kapakanan ng indigenous communities. Matagal nang may batas, kailangan lang ipatupad ng tama," dagdag ni Legarda.
Sa naturang asembliya, nagkaroon ng pagkakataon ang mga lider-katutubo na ipahayag ang kanilang problema sa kanilang lokal. Bukod sa climate change, malaking problema nila ang pagpasok ng irresponsible local at foreign mining companies na nangangako ng kabuhayan sa komunidad, pagkatapos ay hahati sa kanilang mga tribo at iiwan silang mas mahirap pa at may toxic wastes na pinu-problema.
Ipinangako ni Legarda na sisilipin niya ang mga reklamong ito at aalamin kung tinutupad ng mining companies ang kanilang obligasyon sa mga komunidad na kanilang pinasok.
Ang mga rekomendasyon sa Luzon Assembly, pati na ang magiging resulta ng mga pagtitipon sa Visayas (Iloilo City/Setyembre 23-24) at Mindanao (Tagum, Davao) at ng National Indigenous Cultural Summit sa Manila sa (Oktubre 13-14) ay magiging batayan ng mga batas at patakaran para sa kapakanan ng mga katutubo.
Ibinigay niyang halimbawa ang probisyon ng Republic Act 7942 o ang Philippine Mining Act. Malinaw sa batas na tungkulin ng contractor ang pangangalaga ng kalikasan at pagpapatupad ng enhancement program na saklaw ng mineral agreement o permit. Ang programang ito ay dapat isumite bilang accompanying document sa kanilang kontrata.
"Kasama sa work program na ito ang rehabilitasyon, regeneration, revegetation at reforestation ng mineralized areas, slope stabilization pati na ang mined-out and tailing covered areas, aquaculture, watershed development and water conservation at socioeconomic development," paliwanag ni Legarda.
Kasama sa batas ang paniniguro na ang mga contractors at permitees ang bubuhay muli ng hinukay, minina, na-distorbo at lugar na may mine tailings.
Lilikha din ng isang "mine rehabilitation fund" batay sa approved work program ng contractor. Ide-deposito bilang trust fund sa isang bangko ng gobyerno at gagamitin sa physical at social rehabilitation ng apektadong lugar. Puwede ring kumuha ng pera para sa research ng social, technical at preventive aspsects ng rehabilitasyon.
Ayon naman sa Section 85, magkakaroon ng isang semi-annual Mine Wastes and Tailings Fee na babayaran ng mining companies at gagamitin bilang reserve fund. Magagamit ito bilang pambayad sa danyos sa: a) buhay at personal na ari-arian b) lupa, agricultural crops at forest products, marine life and aquatic resources, cultural resources; at c) infrastructure, revegetation at rehabilitation ng silted farm lands at ibang sakahan at palaisdaan na naapektuhan ng pagmimina.
Ang Section 17 naman ay nagbibigay ng royalty payment batay sa pakikipagkasundo ng katutubong grupo sa paglinang ng kanilang mineral. Magiging bahagi din ang royalty ng trust fund para sa mga katutubo.
"Kung ako lang ang masusunod, gusto kong manatiling luntian at maganda ang buong bansa," ani Legarda.
Pero diin ni Legarda, kailangan natin ng investments para sa bansa. Dapat lang aniyang siguruhin na ang mga investments na ito ay hindi makasisira ng kalikasan.
"Ang kailangan natin ay climate resilient-investments na magpapatibay sa kakayahan ng mga komunidad na harapin ang climate change. Di gaya ng mga mining operations na aabuso sa lupaing ninuno at iiwang mas mahirap ang mga kapatid nating katutubo," diin ng senador.Comments blog comments powered by Disqus