Mining in Palawan and its impacts to biodiversity and local communities
• The country has 3% old growth forest left, and much of this is in Palawan. We cannot let this go. Mining and logging go together because you cannot mine without cutting trees.
• Palawan has 17 Key Biodiversity Sites; 7 protected areas; 2 World Heritage sites. Yet most of mining applications in Palawan overlap key biodiverstiy sites. We need to remember that reforestation does not not restore lost biodiversity.
• There are many laws designed to protect Palawan, including its declaration as a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve; Mangrove Reserve and Wildlife Reserve. Three-fourths of Palawan has been declared ...view middle of the document...
If ingested, laterite is toxic and can cause cancer.
• A large-scale mining company had an accident early this year, and their barge carrying tons of nickel and other minerals fell into the sea because of bad weather. Our country is number one in terms of typhoons, so incidents like these are likely to happen over and over.
• The Mining Industry is putting pressure on the government to make big decisions now that the irreversible far-reaching implications on our future. Even as the government, in Chapter 10 of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, admits that it has not developed, nor is it applying, any standard for measuring environmental and social costs of mining. Would it not be more prudent to first put in place such standards and institutional capability and to call for objective studies like those sponsored by the World Bank, before making decisions?
• A total economic valuation (TEV) is even more critical in a fragile island ecosystem like Palawan with mountains, farmlands, mangroves, and coral reefs in and along a narrow sliver of land. Mining in any form, whether large-scale or small scale, puts at risk the delicate weave of this ecological system. In fact, an initial TEV study of the Mt. Matalingahan Range...