• Whale shark feeding is an ecological trap! Free the Whale Sharks in Bohol!
    [There's a new tourism attraction in Lila, Bohol that's harmful to the whale sharks.] We, a coalition composed of Bol-anon environmental advocates, multi-sectoral non-government and civil society organizations, faith-based groups and concerned citizens, would like to express our deep concern and strong opposition to the sanctioning of the opening and operation of the Taug whale shark tourism. Apart from its many apparent legal shortcomings, this venture at its current form is exploitative and unethical. It is incongruent with Bohol’s environmental policy of ensuring the sustainable utilization, management, protection, and conservation of its rich ridge-to-reef natural biodiversity – and as fully espoused by the current provincial administration’s intersectional key programs of: caring for the weak, Bohol cultural renaissance, tourism expansion, while ensuring adherence to environmental conservation and sustainability principles. THE ISSUE A new tourism attraction, the “Taug Whale Shark Watching and Snorkeling” in Barangay Taug in the municipality of Lila, Bohol, which has accordingly begun soft operations in late November or early December, is set to be launched in the third week of December 2019. As recounted by early guests, the operation collects an individual fee of P500 for locals and P1,000 for non-local tourists, and features watching, close interaction via snorkeling, and the feeding of the whale sharks (locally known as balilan). Actual photos and videos of these have been shared online by early tourists, a tour operator and individuals promoting the site. This offering is reportedly an initiative of a private investor with the support of the barangay, and possibly the partnership of the municipal government. It has been gathered that a Memorandum of Agreement is set to be signed by the Mayor, who has already been authorized by the Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) with an approved resolution to enter into said contract with the project proponent. Pending formal inking of the agreement with the municipality, it would appear that its operation is still without proper local permits, not to mention, consideration of relevant marina regulations, tourism conventions, environmental and animal welfare laws affecting protected and endangered marine wildlife. Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are protected marine wildlife governed by local and international protection laws. They are listed in both the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna under Appendix II (CITES) and the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) The Philippines, as a champion in whale shark conservation, has committed to ensuring responsible tourism practices that will benefit and not harm the species. Feeding of wildlife is strictly prohibited in well-managed protected areas. The practice of feeding whale sharks and its consequences should not be encouraged and replicated. In a country where rules and regulations are difficult to implement, we do not want Bohol to be another example of what not to do and what not to be. Section 11 of Republic Act 8550, otherwise known as the 1998 Philippine Fisheries Code underlined among others, the protection of rare, threatened and endangered species in Section 11. Section 56 of the same provision further spelled out the law for non-obstruction to defined migration paths of migratory species. While Section 105 provided for the penalties in violation thereof. As of 2016, whale sharks are an endangered species according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Republic Act 9147 furthermore provided for the conservation and protection of wildlife resources and their habitats. It sealed the responsibility of the local government unit and dedicated national agencies to implement and monitor related policies thereof. Whale sharks swim and move widely across the Philippine waters year-round, following seasonal food pulse, moving further across between the waters in the region, as documented in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, and allowing for further nutrient exchange. Restricting their movements by creating an “ecological trap” through artificial provisioning or the act of feeding and luring alters their ecological roles and ecological needs. Monitoring of whale sharks in Donsol, Sorsogon and Sulu Sea through satellite tagging also shows that whale sharks spend more time in deep waters, with one of the deepest dives at over 1,400m recorded in the Bohol Sea. If the whale sharks do not move to their deep habitats or the next feeding area, which will provide the necessary nutrition to grow and develop and/or could possibly be mating and pupping grounds, they may be unable to perform their ecological roles in these ecosystems. As an endangered species, whale sharks require all the opportunities for reproduction. Conditioning whale sharks to approach boats can also make them more susceptible to injuries and poaching. The whale sharks’ positive association with boats may cause negative impacts when they swim to other areas where there are no guidelines and trained personnel for the conduct and monitoring of human interactions, as has been reported in other countries. Globally, businesses such as AirBnB, Instagram, and TripAdvisor have developed policies and regulations on animal welfare. Bohol, a leading tourism destination in the Philippines, should be at the forefront of sustainability. The feeding of whale sharks will impact Bohol as a key tourism destination, as the global importance of ensuring animal welfare in tourism is taking the center stage. Bohol and, we, the Bol-anons, must remain true to and continually pursue our eco-cultural identity and ideals. The feeding of the whale sharks in Brgy. Taug, Lila, Bohol and the illegal operation of the whale shark interaction tourism must be immediately suspended. Let us let the whale sharks swim freely in Bohol and elsewhere.
    3,994 of 4,000 Signatures
    Created by Bohol Eco Alliance Picture
  • Expression of Support to the Proposed Ordinance on the Regulation of Single-use Plastics
    This unsustainable practice has been going on for decades, unaddressed. Since 1950s, corporations have produced 800 billion tons of plastic waste. Only 9% of the world’s plastic gets recycled. The rest ends up in our dumpsites, landfills, water wastes and oceans. Continuing our dependence on it means wasting our lands to more dumpsites and landfills. To increase the recycling means building facilities for it. Recycling plastic not only requires large amounts of energy but also uses large quantities of water. Unfortunately, we do not have these facilities. We do not have these infrastructures in place to carry out this energy-intensive process to process a plastic waste we only used ONCE. Based on the data collected thru the brand audit headed by Waste 360, 30% of the wastes audited were plastic bags. A total of 4,703 pieces of plastic bags were audited. It is important to contextualize the scale each of corporations’ contribution with reference to plastic bags. On its own, plastic bags is 30% of all wastes. This can be addressed locally through implementing effective ordinances that ends the use of plastic bags in Tacloban City, and hopefully, the rest of the country. We stand for drastic reduction of plastic production. We are asking for these corporations to do the same and provide alternative delivery systems. The plastic pollution is not just a scrape, it is a poison that is slowly killing our home. We do not need a band aid; we need a cure. The ordinance banning the use of plastic bags and styrofoam on food products is the first step!
    335 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Dennise Recuerdo Picture
  • Stop Mining in Zambales and Stop the Construction of the Ferro Nickel Plant in Candelaria
    Pagbati mula sa Candelaria, Zambales. Ang Candelaria, Zambales ay isang maliit at tahimik na bayan sa hilagang Zambales. Nang mga nakaraang taon ay nababasag ang katahimikan at kapayapaan sa aming lugar dahil sa pagmimina sa aming kabundukan. Sa karatig bayan ng Sta Cruz kasi ay may apat na malalaking minahan ng nickel, at ang mga latak mula sa mga minahang ito ay umaagos at sumisira sa aming mga ilog, dagat at mga palayan. Pinasara ang mga minahang ito noong 2016 ng DENR sa pangununa ni Gina Lopez dahil sa mga pagsira sa kalikasan (gaya ng pagputol ng mga puno at paninira sa watersheds at walang mga safety measures kaya umaagos ang mga latak sa ilog) ngunit isa-isa silang nakabalik sa operasyong taong 2018-2019. Ngayon po ay higit kaming nangangamba sa Candelaria dahil sa panukalang pagbukas ng minahan at planta ng WestChinamin sa aming bayan. Ang WestChinamin ay may dalawang panukala: una ay magmina ng 3,500,000,000 kilo ng lupa kada taon mula sa aming kabundukan at ikalawa ay magtayo ng planta ng Ferro Nickel na mag proproseso ng mga mininang ore sa Candelaria, Zambales. Karamihan sa mga mamamayan ng Candelaria ay tutol sa panukalang ito ng WestChinamin sa kadahilanang ayaw namin masira ang aming kapaligiran. Ang pangunahing hanapbuhay sa aming bayan ay agrikultura kaya mapeperwisyo ang kabuhayan ng marami kapag natuloy ang panukalang mina at planta ng WestChinamin. Sa katunayan noon Oktubre 2018 ay nagpasa ng resolusyon ang Sanggunian Bayan ng Candelaria na gawing mining free ang Candelaria at ipabasura ang panukala ng WestChinamin na magtayo ng Ferro Nickel Plant. Maliban sa ordinansa, ang mga mamamayan mismo ay lumalagda sa mga petition papers na tumatanggi sa pagmimina sa aming lugar at sa pagtatayo ng planta. Malinaw na ayaw ng nakararami sa Candelaria ang pagmimina sa aming lugar. Sa kasamaang palad, ngayong taon ng 2019, ay muli na namang binubuhay ang panukalang ito. Hindi po kami pumapayag na itayo ang Ferro Nickel Plant. Gagamit sila ng strip contour mining sa pagmimina. Puputulin ang mga puno sa kagubatan upang mahukay at matuklap sa pagmimina ang lupa at aagos ang mga putik sa mga palayan at kabahayan. Mawawalan ang mga magsasaka ng kabuhayan dahil kapag wala nang puno ay mawawala ang tubig, at pwede ring matabunan ng putik mula sa mga minahan ang mga palayan. Magkakaroon ng baha at magiging maalikabok ang paligid. Aagos din ang putik sa dagat at lalayo ang mga isda, mawawalan ng kabuhayan ang mga mangingisda. Ang mga kemikal na gagamitin ng planta gaya ng coal at sulphuric acid ay aagos at magiging sanhi ng pagkasira ng mga ilog at tubig-inumin. Maraming isda at maiilap na hayop ang mawawalan ng tirahan. Mawawalan ng malinis na tubig pang-inom at magkakasakit ang mga tao mula sa mga kemikal. Lumalapit po kami sa inyong tanggapan upang idaing ang mga sumusunod: 1) Mapilit po ang WestChinamin na magmina at itayo ang kanilang Ferro Nickel Plant sa Candelaria. Nagpameeting po ang WestChinamin kasama ang Mayor at mga miyembro ng sangguniang bayang sa bawat barangay ng Candelaria mula noon Okt 9-18 upang ipapanood sa mga mamamayan ang video tungkol sa mina at nagsalita ang mga managers ng WestChinamin. Si Mayor din po ay nagsalita at sinabing mahusay ang plantang ito. Wala pong open forum at di pinayagan ang mga mamamayan na magtanong sa mga taga WestChinamin at sa mga namumuno ng bayan. Sa pagkakaalam po namin ay bawal ito, ang may panukala ng proyekto ang dapat tumatawag ng meeting at hindi dapat i-endorso ng mga nasa gobyerno ang isang proyekto bago pa ito makakuha ng mga permit mula sa DENR. 2) Bago at habang nagpapameeting sa mga barangay ang WesChinamin ay namigay sila sa mga dumalo ng limang kilong bigas, asukal at kape, at iba pang regalo. May pa –raffle pa sila upang mas marami ang dumalo sa kanilang mga pa-meeting. Pinasulat ang pangalan at pinapirma ang mga mamamayan kapalit ng bigas at raffle ticket. Ngayon po ay pinangangambahan ng mga mamamayan na ang pagpirma nila sa attendance sheet ng meeting ay gagamitin ng WestChinamin na pruweba na sang-ayon ang mga mamamayan ng Candelaria sa panukala nila. Isa itong malinaw na panlilinlang sa mga tao. 3) Pinipilit po ng WestChinamin at ng Sangguniang Bayan ang mga Sangguniang Barangay na magpasa ng resolusyon upang iendorso ang proyekto ng WestChinamin. May mga usap-usapang tinakot, pinagbantaan at sinusuhulan ang mga miyembro ng mga Sangguniang Barangay upang i-endorso ang proyekto. 4) May mga konstruksyon na ng mga gusali sa Barangay Taposo, at mga daan sa barangay Sinabacan at Uacon patungong Taposo na gagamitin ng planta sa transportasyon ng kanilang ore. May mga daang tubig ng irigasyon at batis ang kanilang tinabunan upang magawa ang mga daan. Paglabag po ito dahil wala pa pong permit ang planta at sinira nila ang daluyang tubig ng mga sakahan upang itayo ang mga gusali at daan. 5) May illegal mining na nagaganap sa Barangay Uacon, malapit sa Duplac. Matagal na po itong naipag-bigay alam sa DENR at inaantabayanan namin ang resulta ng inyong imbestigasyon. Sana po at samahan ninyo kami sa aming kampanya. Umaasa po kami sa mabilis na aksyon ng mga kinauukulan upang hindi mabigyan ng permit ang Ferro Nickel Plant at tuluyan nang isara ang mga minahan sa Zambales. Follow us on our facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/Uacon-Mining-Operation-1203562866328111/ https://www.facebook.com/SaveUaconLakeAndMalabonRiver/ #SaveCandelaria #FerroNickelPlant #AntiMining #AntiFNP #NoToFerroNickelPlant
    535 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Concerned Citizens of Candelaria
  • Stop Reclamation! Save and Defend Manila Bay!
    The coastline of Manila Bay stretches along Cavite, Parañaque, Pasay, Manila, Malabon, Navotas up to the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan. It holds a prominent place in glorious stories of the past as it witnessed battles that changed the course of our history. Now, it is facing an environmental war against ecologically destructive dump-and-fill projects, also known as reclamation, which is described by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as “an irreversible form of environmental degradation.” Reclamation projects pose grave threats to our natural life support systems as these destroy our mangroves, seagrass beds, wetlands and other marine habitats which are sources of life to humans and non-humans alike. The sites of these projects are vulnerable to ground shaking and liquefaction that raise red flags to people’s safety when earthquake and flooding occur. Dumping and filling of critical marine support systems in Manila Bay are not only violating our environmental laws—these deprive our artisanal fisherfolk of their livelihood and sustenance. We enjoin you to strengthen our efforts to defend and protect our country's natural resources. Stop dump and fill projects that threaten life both in land and sea! Sign this petition and let our voices be heard. Stop reclamation! Save Manila Bay! #BuhayAngManilaBay #ManilaBayIsAlive #StopReclamation #SaveManilaBay
    1,152 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by UP Marine Biological Society (UP MBS) Picture
  • Save Bagasbas Beach and Camarines Norte Shoreline! No to Offshore Mining!
    On July-August 2019, a Notice for Application of Exploration, from EPHESUS MINERALS CORPORATION was received by different towns in Camarines Norte (Paracale, Vinzons, Talisay, Daet). While the Provincial and Local Government Units involved have expressed their strong opposition to this project in writing, I feel it is important to put into a law, resolution, or mandate that will ensure that the said project will not take place now or in the future. 1. Environmental Exploitation in the form of exploration and Blacksand sand mining will affect our 15 hectare marine reserve where fish sanctuary is located. 2. It will destroy the reef that produce waves to our surfers making Bagasbas Beach a premier Surfing Destination not only in the Philippines but in the world. 3. It will destroy the reed that serves as barrier to prevent the higher ground from falling into the deep of the intercontinental shelf. 3. When it happens, coastal erosion will be evident in the coastline, intrusion of saline water into farmland takes place hence farmers will be affected. 4. The most dramatic event that will happen is that due to coastal erosion, 5 thousand plus population of Brgy Bagasbas is at risk, 3 thousand plus population of Sitio Mandulungan is at risk, 252 registered fisherfolks will lost their livelihood, Quinamanokan Island will be no longer in the map. 5. 104k Plus population in Daet that depends on fishing and its products will be indirectly affected.
    1,253 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Eleanor Sherlyn Picture
  • No To Sea Wall Widening in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro
    Our nature is important and it is our duty to protect our nature including our endagered species. While infrastructures can be a sign of development, these should be planned and designed carefully to avoid harming our beloved Mother Earth.
    35 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Maica Angelle Feraren Picture
  • Sign to ban the use of plastics and styrofoam in Taguig
    The massive pollution and environmental effects of plastics need to be addressed in ALL the local government units in the Philippines. With our population of over 100M, the everyday use of plastics and styrofoam have led to devastating effects as they accumulate, clog and choke our waterways, cause deadly floodings, kill our marine animals, and pollute our rivers, lakes and seas. Because of these negative effects, hundreds of measures around the world have been taken since 2002— the year when the first national ban on plastic bags was enacted in Bangladesh— to reduce or regulate their use. So many other cities in Metro Manila and towns across the Philippines have progressed towards this movement. However the City of Taguig, still has not done anything and it is already 2019. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-out_of_lightweight_plastic_bags) To date, these are the Metro Manila cities with bans or restrictions on plastics: Muntinlupa (Jan. 1, 2011) Las Piñas (Jan. 2, 2012) Pasig (Jan. 1, 2012) Quezon City (Sept. 1, 2012, P2.00 per bag) Pasay (Sept. 1, 2012, Bags for a fee) Makati (June 30, 2013) (https://hubpages.com/politics/List-of-Philippine-Cities-Where-Plastic-Ban-is-Implemented) We call on Mayor Lino Cayetano to address this issue and finally bring Taguig at par with all the other cities and towns that have implemented banning plastics, to play its role in protecting the environment by banning single-use plastics and styrofoam.
    194 of 200 Signatures
    Created by V J Picture
  • OPPOSE COAL FIRED POWER PLANT IN PALAWAN (and the rest of the country)
    Palawan is an island that has prided itself in being the "World's Best Island", home of the UNESCO heritage sites: Tubbataha Reefs and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park, not to mention its other local human and wildlife inhabitants that have benefited from the clean air, water and land from it being coal-free. Back in 2014, former president Aquino said that Palawan needs adequate energy to cater to the 10 million tourists projected for 2016. “A lot of these tourists will be going to Palawan. I am sure you are aware of all the developments that are happening here plus iyong airport, i-u-upgrade din natin. And all of that plus the upstream and downstream industries will need power. And if it’s not available, then practically we are saying, parang wala na rin iyong tourism na big industry dito or iyong growth, or projected growth." (see https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/606179/aquino-not-keen-on-coal-free-palawan) But growth at what expense? Would locals not prefer a future of clean air, clean water, clean land and thriving wildlife over throngs of tourists promising "growth and development"? And what then would tourists actually keep coming for if the island's health is compromised with an unsustainable coal plant and other unsustainable infrastructure built with a short-sighted goal in mind? But civil society movements and some LGUs have shown that we can resist this from happening. They realize that there's so much at stake, and so much we need to protect. (see https://businessmirror.com.ph/2018/08/05/lgus-going-green-rejecting-coal-projects/) Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, who is one of the lead convenors of the civil society group Save Palawan Movement (SPM) said: “Kapag natayo ‘yan, magsisisihan na tayo sa impact. Ang hirap na nyan matanggal once that is set up. The basis that it is of national significance, with all due respect, is not sound because all they have to do is to look at the Palawan Island Power Development Plan (PIPDP). Coal is not a least cost option. Ang least cost option doon ay combination of mini hydro with diesel and bunker. We have enough power supply”. (see https://palawan-news.com/denr-gives-go-ahead-to-palawan-coal-plant/) Furthermore, the civil society group in Palawan, among others who oppose the building of new coal plants, has claimed that, apart from negating any advances we make in addressing climate change, coal power projects are dangerous to human health as it releases a number of airborne toxins and pollutants, among them mercury, lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and other particulates.
    1,505 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Living Laudato Si Philippines Picture
  • Save Island Cove / Animal Island
    For local fisherman. Climate change
    94 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Jillian Uy
  • No Go for Oceanagold! Cancel OceanaGold's FTAA Contract Now!
    Oceanagold has displaced hundreds of families, many of them indigenous, when the corporation grabbed lands and demolished homes. Many residents were cheated out of receiving just compensation. Environmental defenders have paid with their civil liberties, freedoms, and lives in the course of their struggle against Oceanagold. Thousands of citizens have experienced polluted waters and air, loss of forests, and stunted agriculture because of Oceanagold’s extractive operations. Nine special rapporteurs from the United Nations are currently looking into these violations of the Novo Vizcayano people's rights. It would be the height of injustice if Oceanagold's FTAA is renewed amid the non-resolution of these violations. We urge the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau to decisively cancel Oceanagold's FTAA. ‘No Go!’ to Oceanagold! Cancel Oceanagold’s FTAA now!
    2,110 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Kalikasan PNE
  • Stop the 1500-ha Cordova, Cebu Reclamation Project
    We need to preserve and protect our coastal areas as our marine resources and our heritage because of the underlying history and cultural influence of this vast coastal area in Cordova. Cordova is known for its wide area of muddy shoreline which is great breeding habitats for eel or bakasi (Scuticaria tigrina) which became an iconic seafood (aphrodisiac) for Cebuanos. They thrive also because of the vast area of seagrass that encompass the whole coast of Cordova. Cordova also has a Mangroove Sanctuary that used to be an ecotourism but was also deeply affected during the last oilspill. We also have a nearby marine sanctuary and giant clams being cultured and protected. If the coastal area of Cordova will disappear, there will be no more nursery and breeding places for smaller fishes before they go to the open sea or to the rich marine sanctuary. Lastly, it is most likely that they will quarry the mountain to use in reclaiming that area. Mountains will be denuded. Terrestrial and aquatic resources are both destructed here and we can't tolerate no more with the threats of harsh weather and climate change.
    77 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Eunice Rosales Picture
  • A Healthier Marikina City River: Rehabilitation and Tree-Planting Program
    The city has always been prone to flooding, and the river's water levels have always been monitored during typhoons due to the impending danger of its overflowing. This danger can be attributed to the floodwaters that flow downwards from the upper Marikina ridges such as Montalban, San Mateo, Rizal and from the Sierra Madre Mountains, Rodriguez, Rizal. The balance of Marikina river's ecosystem is constantly disrupted by toxins and waste that is transported daily not only to its surface but also down to its riverbed, which is why the coordination of our LGUs is crucial to its betterment. In the words of Josephine M. Viray in her article "Decongesting the Marikina River" (https://maritimereview.ph/2018/11/16/decongesting-the-marikina-river/): "It will be an impossible task to clean Marikina River without cleansing the waste and effluents from Montalban, San Mateo, Rizal and from the Sierra Madre mountains, Rodriguez, Rizal first before they flow down to the Marikina River, and add to the pollutants on the surface and bottom of the Marikina River brought about by the residents of surrounding LGUs."
    214 of 300 Signatures
    Created by Edel de Sahagun Picture