MAC: Mines and Communities

Environmentalists Sign Petition Vs Lafayette Mine

Published by MAC on 2007-02-16
Source: Asia Journal ()

Environmentalists sign petition vs Lafayette mine

Asia Journal

16th February 2007

MANILA, Philippines -- Some 800 environmentalists from 27 countries have signed a petition urging major financiers to withdraw their investments from Lafayette's newly reopened mining project on Rapu-Rapu island in Albay, a militant group of fishermen said Friday.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the environmental leaders and activists from the United States, Europe and Asia signed the petition initiated by a multi-sectoral group of Rapu-Rapu residents, Church and civil society leaders, environmentalists, academicians and scientists in less than a week.

The signatories were from The Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, Norway, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Ecuador, United States, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Nigeria, Egypt and Mexico.

"This is a major victory for the Rapu-Rapu people and all crusaders for the environment and public interest. This is the beginning of Lafayette's end,'' Fernando Hicap, chairman of Pamalakaya, said in a statement.

Some 2,000 individuals and groups from Rapu-Rapu also signed the petition, according to Greenpeace.

Pamalakaya, and the environmental groups Defend Patrimony and Kalikasan-People's Network for the Environment had protested last week's reopening of Lafayette's controversial mining project on the orders of Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes.

Reyes said the company had met the conditions set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The multi-sectoral group had called on ABN Amro of The Netherlands, ANZ of Australia, KFSX of South Korea and Standard Chartered Bank of the United Kingdom to stop supporting Lafayette Philippines Inc. and its project.

They said disasters were bound to happen because the island lies in the middle of a typhoon belt, and the financiers would be liable for any accidents if they continued supporting Lafayette. Lafayette Mining operation were suspended in 2005 following two mine tailing spills that resulted in cyanide contamination and fish kills. (Inquirer.net)

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