20,000 signatures reached
To: President Bongbong Marcos, DENR Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Congress Committees on Environment and Natural Resources, Rizal Province Local Governments
President Marcos and DENR Secretary Yulo-Loyzaga: #SaveMasungi
We ask our leaders to protect and conserve the Masungi landscape and its surrounding watersheds against various threats. In the past few years, it has faced alarming threats such as quarrying, land grabbing, land conversion (ie. planned relocation of New Bilibid Prison) and now a wind farm development by Rizal Wind Energy Corp. under Vena Energy. This planned wind farm threatens to kill Masungi's multitude of birds and bat species. It will entail clearing forests and habitats for wide road networks and constructions -- allowing more encroachments and setting back decades of ecosystem restoration efforts in favor of misguided energy development.
We urge our leaders to cause the cessation of these persistent threats and adopt a no take policy for this ecologically critical area. We ask our leaders to support the Masungi Geopark Project and its defenders who remain at risk of physical, legal, and political harassments.
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UPDATE as of September 2022: The DENR has ordered the cancellation of the three Mineral Production Sharing Agreements found inside the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape and the Masungi Wildlife Sanctuary. Let us stay vigilant to ensure the implementation of the cancellation order.
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On February 26, 2020, a quarry company started to encroach on Masungi’s assigned reforestation site. They put up barbed wires that will cut off reforestation work in some 500 hectares of degraded land around the georeserve (the equivalent of 11,450 basketball courts).
It is apparent that the quarry company’s intention is to drive the project team away and stop the reforestation project. Reports are rife that the quarry company will engage more men in uniform to forcibly continue its fencing activities.
Dear President Marcos, we the undersigned citizens, make this urgent appeal to stop the illegal fencing immediately and expel the quarry company and its destructive activities from Masungi and the larger Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape once and for all.
The quarry company’s activities are a brazen violation of the law.
The reforestation site is within the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape and the proposed Masungi Strict Nature and Wildlife Sanctuary, both of which are protected or conserved areas areas where destructive activities such as quarrying are STRICTLY prohibited.
We know that you will not tolerate this blatant violation of the law, especially one that will affect millions of Filipinos lacking clean water and clean air that only these forests can provide.
As you know, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and time is running out to prevent another tragedy like Ondoy from happening. It is from these barren mountains that the massive destruction caused by Ondoy started.
In 2017, the DENR tasked the Masungi Georeserve Foundation, together with public, private and civil society partners, to help it reforest and rewild some 3,000 hectares of heavily degraded land entirely self-financed by sustainable and low-volume tourism.
With an 80% funding gap for biodiversity conservation in the Philippines, innovative and collaborative mechanisms like those of Masungi's are vital in fulfilling our national and international targets and commitments for restoring forest cover and protecting habitats.
To-date, 18 km of monitoring trails and 17 ranger stations have been established, more than 100 rangers have been engaged, and over 68,000 native trees have been planted and nurtured through the support of thousands of volunteers, visitors, and local park rangers.
Masungi Georeserve is an award-winning conservation project protecting historic limestone formations and hundreds of plant and animal species in Baras, Rizal. Formerly a barren wasteland due to illegal logging and other land speculation practices, the Masungi Georeserve’s ecosystem was successfully restored after more than 20 years of dedicated conservation work against many different threats.
As an international conservation expert has raised, “It is inconceivable that a globally recognized conservation project like Masungi still has to fight off a quarrying interest.”
Why is this important?
By signing this petition, you will help save wildlife habitats and reforestation efforts that are urgently needed to restore the diminishing water supply, to provide sustainable livelihood to surrounding communities, and perhaps most importantly, to guard against catastrophic landslides and flashfloods like those brought by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 and Ulysses in 2020.
Together, let us #SaveMasungi.
Petition Short Link: bit.ly/savemasungi
How it will be delivered
This petition may be delivered digitally and physically to the addressees.