PHILIPPINES: Conference renews push for Peoples’ Mining Bill

PUBLISHED ON MARCH 2, 2012

By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – “A hundred years after exporting our precious timber, have we become rich?” This is the question Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino threw to the participants of the 3rd Peoples Mining Conference happening until today in Tagaytay City.

The conference has drawn nearly 200 environmentalists from all over the Philippines who, in an earlier regional sharing of mining updates, have already detailed how, on the contrary, most ordinary citizens are becoming poorer and more miserable with every operation of huge mining corporations because of massive resource extraction in their midst. More

PHILIPPINES: Groups from Northern Luzon hold protest against mining corporations

PUBLISHED ON MARCH 1, 2012

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO
Bulatlat.com

Some 300 members of anti-irresponsible mining groups and residents from various provinces in Northern Luzon held a rally in front of the offices of well-know mining corporations in Manila earlier this week in protest against what they said are the countless rights violations these companies have been perpetuating as they implement their mining projects.

Northern Luzon is composed of the Cagayan Valley, Ilocos and Cordillera regions where famous man-made and natural wonders can be found such as the Baguio rice terraces. Majority of residents come from marginalized sectors, among them peasants, fisher folk and indigenous peoples. Many of the mining projects that are posed for implementation are in the mountainous areas where the communities of several indigenous groups such as the Agta, Ilongot and Igorot have been established for centuries. More

PHILIPPINES: Government misses mining Executive Order deadline

By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
3:49 am | Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The Aquino administration has failed to meet its own deadline to come up with a comprehensive mining policy amid concerns in the industry over a draft executive order outlining such a proposed mining policy.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. on Wednesday said that “due to the weighty issues involved and the significant impact the mining industry has on the welfare of our people and the environment, we are at present conducting additional consultations with industry stakeholders.” More

Indigenous People Face Health Issues From Climate Change, Study Says

VANCOUVER, CanadaIndigenous people around the world face health threats from more bacteria in drinking water following major weather events such as heavy rainfall or from rapidly melting snow, says Sherilee Harper, a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in Aboriginal People’s Health at the University of Guelph.

Photo: Sherilee Harper, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in Aboriginal People’s Health at the University of Guelph.

A recently published study  co-authored by Harper explores links among weather patterns, water quality and gastrointestinal illness in two communities in Nunatsiavut in Canada’s North.

Weather events also affect the health of Uganda’s Batwa people. Harper is studying Batwa refugees driven from their forest homeland after the Ugandan government created a national park to protect silverback gorillas. More

Indigenous peoples at forefront of climate change offer lessons on plant biodiversity

28.02.2012
Paper Highlights 40 Years of Research on Plant Use by Indigenous Peoples In Peruvian Amazon and Tibet 

Humans are frequently blamed for deforestation and the destruction of environments, yet there are also examples of peoples and cultures around the world that have learned to manage and conserve the precious resources around them.

The Yanesha of the upper Peruvian Amazon and the Tibetans of the Himalayas are two groups of indigenous peoples carrying on traditional ways of life, even in the face of rapid environmental changes. Over the last 40 years, Dr. Jan Salick, senior curator and ethnobotanist with the William L. Brown Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden has worked with these two cultures.

She explains how their traditional knowledge and practices hold the key to conserving, managing and even creating new biodiversity in a paper released in the new text, “Biodiversity in Agriculture: Domestication, Evolution, and Sustainability,” published by Cambridge University Press. More

INDIA: Consent of local village councils must for mining – Tribal Affairs Minister

Kishore Chandra Deo | Consent of local village councils must for mining

Gram Sabhas should become more effective as this will ensure transparency, and corruption will be minimized

Liz Mathew 

New Delhi: The environment ministry will not clear any mining in forest areas unless local village councils give their consent, Kishore Chandra Deo, minister of tribal affairs and Panchayati Raj, said in an interview. A Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh, Deo took charge of the two ministries in July. He said the revival of village councils is the best way to ensure larger people’s participation in governance Edited excerpts: More

MALAYSIA: Indigenous Communities Demand Referendum on Mega-Dams

MIRI, Sarawak, Malaysia, February 19, 2012 (ENS) – Malaysian communities are asking the government to stop all 12 planned mega-dam projects in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo and to hold a referendum on dam construction.

A conference of some 150 representatives of indigenous communities and civil society groups concluded Saturday in the city of Miri with demands that the state government address the adverse impact of existing hydroelectric dam projects in Sarawak and stop planning for more to power industrial development of the rainforest.

Organized by the newly formed Save Rivers Network, the conference brought local civil society organizations together with indigenous peoples organizations and concerned individuals for three days. Discussions centered on the adverse impacts of dam construction on the environment and on the livelihoods of dam-affected communities. More

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