ALAMIN Position on the Mindoro Nickel ProjectPublished by MAC on 2001-04-20
The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Heherson Alvarez has announced in a press conference today (and we are monitoring it by am band radio) the cancellation of the Aglubang Mineral Production Sharing Agreement. The people of Mindoro are very jubillant and we thank all of those who helped us in our struggle. We know that it is not yet time to rest for there are still two other MPSA Application by Crew. The Mindoro Nickel Project of Crew is still a threat to the people of Mindoro. For ALAMIN and MAHAL,
Ned de Guzman
20th April 2001
THE ALYANSA LABAN SA MINA (ALAMIN) AND THE PEOPLE OF ORIENTAL MINDORO POSITION ON THE MINDORO NICKEL PROJECT
1. The Mangyan's rights under the INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S RIGHTS ACT (R.A. 8371) and genuine sentiment against the Mindoro Nickel Project (MNP) MUST BE RESPECTED
The MNP is so located that about 12 Mangyan communities shall be displaced resulting to the loss of land sacred to their communities, their source of livelihood and cultural heritage.
The Mangyan rights under IPRA (R.A. 8371) is grossly transgressed when the KPLN-SANAMA-KAMTI's expressed opposition to the MNP was deliberately and maliciously ignored by the NCIP/MINDEX (CREW-AMC); when in its stead they proceeded to organize and forged a MOA with KABILOGAN ' composed of Mangyan employees of Mindex who are only a handful of the organizations-owner of CADC #R4CADC-024, CADC #R4CADC-085 and CADC (Alangan) now under encroachment of CREW (AMC) exploration activities under Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) # 167-2000-1V, MPSA APPLICATIOIN #AMA -IVB-O97, MPSA APPLICATION # AMA - IVB 103.
2. As part the global unity of the environment and the human race, we propose the CONSERVATION OF THE MINDORO BIODIVERSITY, for us and the generations to come; for the Filipinos, her neighbors and the rest of mankind.
MINDORO ISLAND is one of the five identified BIOGEOGRAPHICAl ZONES of the Philippines. The rich valuable biodiversity, recognized nationwide and worldwide, shall be wantonly endangered and may totally be lost should the open mining of MNP be allowed. The area under the MNP target is at the heart of a once proposed Mangyan Heritage Park which is inhabited by enumerable species of flora and fauna many of which are considered endemic; not leaving out the famous TAMARAW (Anoa Mondorensis). No amount of mitigation can protect the current biodiversity from the destruction the open pit mining of MNP shall cause.
The main site of MNP is a part of the central range of MINDORO ISLAND which serve as a contiguous watershed to more than 15 river systems; draining on the northeast side into the rich agricultural plains of Calapan, Naujan, Victoria and Baco. The unnecessary risk of exposing the very fertile productive land and potable water sources of these communities to flooding, siltation and pollution could prove socially and economically devastating.
The ocean biodiversity shall be seriously threatened with the dumping of voluminous mine tailings in the deep seas of Pili, Pinamalayan.The Tablas Strait which shall cradle the toxic wastes of MNP is believed to be the migration route of schools of tuna and whales. It is the haven of various commercial fishes on which the fisher folks along the or. Mindoro-Marinduque-Romblon coasts depend for their livelihood and living, recognizing the inter-independence of all life forms at the bottom of the sea and above the seawaters, this adventurous deep-sea tailings placement is not an acceptable alternative.
3. We clamor and assert our right to self-determination.
The right to decide on the kind of development people would opt to pursue belong to them. As majority of the people and the local government units of Oriental Mindoro has repeatedly and vehemently expressed their opposition to the MINDORO NICKEL PROJECT and opted to pursue community development through means less risky than mining, WE MUST ABIDE BY THE TRUE SENTIMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF ORIENTAL MINDORO.
The people of Oriental Mindoro believes that because the mining area is located up in the mountain ranges, the perceived benefits measured in millions is not commensurate to the risk being taken. In the face of high technology and modern mitigations any miscalculation or unforeseen error could lead to death, pestilence and destruction. The right to decide whether these risks are worth taking belongs to the people. It belongs to the many who will suffer the consequences of such risks; as well as to those who are in the mine site, in the plant site and the few who will stand to benefit from it.
4. We denounce the mining company's duplicity and cunning in dealing with the people of Oriental Mindoro. The alleged "development" and miners' social responsibility in exchange for local communities subservience and submission and the timing of the so-called development prior to their social acceptability bid is tantamount to bribery. The deliberate attempt to mislead the people into believing that exploration is harmless and mining not at all destructive are miners lies that are conveyed through half truths being peddled by the mining companies. Principal adverse environmental consequence(s) of the facility/activity should it be operated to its specification was never divulged; neither was the worst-case scenario in case facility/activity fails to operate as designed or as planned.
For the people of Oriental Mindoro and the rest of the world, we reiterate our stand that the MINDORO NICKEL PROJECT BE STOPPED!