Saturday, November 14, 2009

MAP-Oz Slams Baguio Mines Safety Confab

Mining Action Philippines-Australia (MAP-Oz) composed of various Filipino and Australian groups and organisatons, with aims of monitoring, assessing, evaluating and exposing various environmental and human and indigenous peoples rights issues of Australian mining companies in the Philippines criticized the Philippine Mine Safety and Environment Association (PMSEA) which invited Australian mining investors to an annual mines safety conference which ends today.

While the people of the Philippines suffered a series of typhoons and mining disasters, PMSEA is still promoting responsible mining for a strong republic, the Philippines, which recently enacted the Climate Change Law.

The Australian government recently granted the Philippines Php 123 million aid which seeks to mainstream disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in local land use plans and processes. The hypocrisy in this type of financial aid, while promoting Australian mining investment is obscene. Not only does mining contribute a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, mining also produces toxic waste which prove a deadly risk in the face of extreme weather conditions and climate change. The influx of carbon intensive, waste producing mining ventures, will defeat the very purpose of the aid.’ said Mia Pepper of Friends of the Earth Melbourne, the coordinator of MAP-Oz.

‘We find it ironic if not hypocritical of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and DENR Secretary Joselito Atienza to be calling themselves climate change czars before the Filipino people that they are on top of a low-carbon economy when clearly this confab supports a highly extractive industry that will add more GHGs in the atmosphere and worst, further put vulnerable communities especially the indigenous groups who are directly affected by mining operations and who are incapable of adapting to the impacts climate change in grave danger, ” exclaimed Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), the Philippine convener of MAP-Oz.

The Philippines ranks the world’s fourth most disaster-prone country based on the 2004 Global Climate Risk Index. This innate vulnerability – geographic, climatic and physical characteristics is compounded by intertwined problems of poor governance reflective of high poverty incidence, expanding population, political strifes, growing environmental degradation and natural resource depletion brought by the aggressive promotion of extractive industries such as mining in the country.

No comments:

Post a Comment