In 2016, almost 3000 Moro and indigenous peoples arrived in Manila City for the annual Lakbayan to denounce continued corporate encroachment on ancestral lands, especially by large-scale destructive mining, energy and logging companies. Much of the country’s mineral and energy resources are located within or near ancestral lands, and companies that enter and do business in ancestral lands more often than not bring with them environmental destruction. This plunder of natural resources and destruction of the environment for profit not only in the Philippines but all over the world has contributed greatly to the climate crisis the world is currently facing.
When Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte appointed Ms. Gina Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, she provided a brief respite to the onslaught of large scale destructive mining activities in ancestral lands by suspending operations of numerous companies which were found to be violating environmental safety standards as well as the human rights of indigenous peoples. Secretary Lopez has the support of many indigenous peoples who were gravely affected by the destruction and violations brought about by mining activities. She, however, faces tough opposition from large-scale mining companies and solons in the powerful Commission on Appointments, many of whom have conflicting ties with mining companies themselves. (Photo published by CCNCI)
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