100 signatures reached
To: Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR), Local Government Units of Malay, Nabas, Buruanga, Aklan; Libertad, and Pandan, Antique; and all members of Protected Area Management Board (PAMB)
Protect Boracay's Main Water Source and Save Panay's Last Low-lying Forest!
CALL TO ACTION
We must prioritize environmental preservation while pursuing green energy. The NWPP project, notably NWPP-2, warrants suspension due to its environmental impact. The DENR should cancel the SAPA, and the PAMB should revoke endorsements. A comprehensive review, accountability from stakeholders, and mitigation efforts are necessary. NPPNP's protection must be a top priority, and we should reject superficial "greenwashing" attempts in favor of true sustainability.
From all the probable evidence of PWEI’s blatant environmental violations, we demand the following urgent actions:
1. Immediate Stoppage
2. SAPA Cancellation
3. Endorsement Revocation
4. Conduct a Comprehensive Review of the Impacts
Let us not underscore the critical point: The Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park faces ongoing and impending ecological deterioration unless we fully commit to its legal protection and safeguarding, recognizing the invaluable services it provides to our communities. Preserving the last remaining contiguous low-lying forest in Panay Island, a sanctuary for endemic and vulnerable species, must be an unwavering priority for all of us.
We cannot be swayed by superficial solutions that are mere "greenwashing" attempts, promising benefits while concealing the potentially far more costly consequences they entail. NPPNP possesses a wealth of resources that far exceed the potential gains of hyper-destructive projects like PWEI. The watersheds and rivers of Nabaoy, which supply the vital island of Boracay, exemplify the correct approach to cost-benefit analysis. We must steadfastly uphold the true values of sustainability and resist compromising or trading our natural resources for hollow "greenwashed solutions."
We call for louder and bolder actions to immediately STOP this ongoing ecological atrocity inside the NPPNP, endangering Boracay's main source of potable water!
POSITION PAPER: bit.ly/NPPNPPositionPaper2023
BIODIVERSITY SURVEY: bit.ly/BiodiversitySurveyNPPNP2023
CAMPAIGN REFERENCES: bit.ly/NPPNPSupportDocs2023
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Why is this important?
The Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park (NPPNP) is a vital rainforest area that urgently requires intervention to halt wind turbine construction. PhilinCon has emphasized the need for sustainable development within NPPNP, highlighting the importance of balancing progress with biodiversity preservation.
However, the Nabas Wind Power Project Phase Two (NWPP-2) threatens NPPNP's biodiversity, watersheds, and communities in impact zones. We question the continued disregard for environmental mandates within the protected area. While green energy is crucial for sustainability, we must not ignore the substantial environmental toll it may take. Republic Act No. 11038, the ENIPAS Law, aims to protect forest areas, allowing renewable energy development within them with stringent safeguards.
The NWPP is a renewable energy project by PetroWind Energy, Inc. (PWEI). The company was granted the Wind Energy Service Contract No. 2009-09-002 located in the north-western section of Panay Island with an area consisting of 2,025 hectares. Following Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements, PWEI was then granted an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) No. ECC-RC-1205-132-4220, dated 01 June 2012, as amended on September 2013, 09 December 2013, 17 February 2021, and 29 March 2021, respectively.
The NWPP-1 consists of 18 wind turbines (WTG 1 to WTG 18) with a total power production capacity of 36MW, transmission lines, internal access roads, and a control station located in the barangays of Pawa, Rizal, and Unidos in Nabas and Brgy. Napaan in Malay.
Following guidelines mandated by the ENIPAS law, the project was allowed in the NPPNP through PAMB Resolution No. 2014-3 and granted by DENR Region VI with a Special Use Agreement on Protected Areas (SAPA) Application No. A0265DD2BFD107DC last 17 February 2023.
From this, the NWPP-2 would involve six additional wind turbines (WTG 20 to WTG 25) with an expected total power generating capacity of 14MW located within the northern boundary of the NPPNP under the jurisdiction of Brgy. Pawa in Nabas and Brgy. Napaan in Malay.
Environmental Impacts & Issues
1. Site Inspections
Compelling evidence from joint inspections by LGU Malay and Aklan Trekkers revealed the distressing presence of siltation and sedimentation in the Daeamuan River followed by an environmental audit with Protect NPPNP Coalition that exposed that the ongoing constructions of the road network and platforms for the initial three wind turbines in Pawa, Nabas, Aklan have already created conditions conducive to substantial siltation in both Napaan and Nabaoy river watersheds. Notably, the landscape bore witness to extensive tree cutting, improper earth balling practices, conspicuous bulldozing, inefficient earth canals, and ineffective/unfinished/damaged gabions, all signaling the potential disruption of natural water flow and the broader ecosystem.
2. Water Potability & Economic Impact
The effects have already damaging impacts on the water quality downstream from the NWPP-2 construction areas. As previously demonstrated, the failure to implement measures preventing heavy siltation and downstream accumulation has caused substantial harm to the entire river ecosystem. It has resulted in muddy water affecting not only Napaan and Nabaoy but also extending to the surrounding communities of Argao, Cubay, and Motag, as well as other coastal communities near these rivers.
3. EIA, ECC, & SAPA
The recent Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP), serving as the primary EIA document alongside the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) crafted by PWEI in September 2018, aimed to comprehensively evaluate the impact of the then-proposed NWPP-2. However, upon a thorough examination of these reports, a notable deficiency emerged – a failure to foresee the potential repercussions on neighboring areas and an absence of robust mitigation strategies. The situation in Napaan epitomizes this issue, where although mitigation measures were presented, they have failed to adequately address the current challenges, leaving the area in its current compromised state.
The EIA report and ECC have limitations, failing to address extensive impacts and mitigation strategies. Amendments to ECC beyond the allowed timeframe raised concerns about document legitimacy. Agreements also failed to mention impact site areas like the Nabaoy River Watershed.
Furthermore, Nabaoy was notably absent from the SAPA agreement furnished by the PAMB. In PAMB Resolution 2014-03, titled 'Resolution Approving the Project Proposal of Petrowind Energy, Inc. (PWEI) in the Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park for its Nabas Wind Power Project – Phase 2,' the project's area description was exclusively limited to Pawa in Nabas.
Nabaoy passed a resolution complaining about the direct impacts of the initial road construction and requested SB Malay revocation of the resolution (2021) endorsing NWPP-2 due to its adverse impacts on water supply and decreased quality of community life.
SB Malay also conducted committee hearings to repeatedly review and assess the environmental impacts of the project. The committee found inconsistencies and problems with PWEI's documents, leading to resolutions revoking prior endorsements and urging DENR to cancel the SAPA as follows:
RESOLUTION NO. 140-A, Series of 2023
RESOLUTION NO. 140-B, Series of 2023
RESOLUTION NO. 140-C, Series of 2023
How it will be delivered
All concerned residents of Malay, Nabas, Buruanga, Pandan, and Libertad; Local Government Units, Academic Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Youth Organizations, and Community Leaders are encouraged to sign the petition and deliver this to the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), DENR, and the National Government.