Stop Mining In Palawan


Managing Director

ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.

My dear friends,

On January 24 a very dear friend and colleague Gerry Ortega was shot in the head dead. I was just with him that weekend – and a few minutes before he died what we were discussing over the phone was an anti-mining campaign in Palawan – given that on December two huge mining applications were railroaded – and they were to be near protected sites.

Gerry is dead but we will not let go of his dreams – and mine – and probably yours too.

Palawan has 17 key bio diversity sites – which means it is part of the 70% bio diversity sites which are essential for sustaining life in the planet. It has 2 world heritage sites, 8 protected sites. Yet if you see Palawan on the map you will note that it is a very thin island – which is 82% mountain. It means that if the forest gets denuded and the minerals excavated – the tailings seep directly into the sea affecting the coral reefs. The top soil is thin – and the island eco system is fragile.

Mining is not the way to go for Palawan. I have five eco tourism sites wherein the communities involved can now send their children to school, can dream bigger dreams. Mayor Hagedorn in Puerto Princesa has banned mining and logging – and focused on tourism and agriculture. From 2 flights a week, Puerto Princesa now boasts 10 flights a day. His revenues have gone up from several million to several billion.

Mining as an economic path in a magnificent “Last Frontier” is based on a paradigm of economic growth that is myopic and archaic . In this age of climate change and global warming any economic development that does not recognize and revere the web of life should be thrown in the dustbin.

Please please support the ten million signature campaign to Stop Mining in Palawan. The richness of Palawan is the wealth and pride of the country, it is the wealth of the world. Log in to  .. register your vote and please please send it to thousands others. You can also include your household by downloading the form printing it – and faxing it t 4152227 or you can scan it and send it to Questions can be sent to


 Palawan contains part of the 70% biodiversity in the planet. It has 17 key biodiversity areas, 2 world heritage sites and 8 protected sites.

Its topsoil is thin and island eco system is fragile.

There are currently 354 mining applications in Palawan. Mining in Palawan is a myopic, archaic view of economic development.

We need to respect the web of life.

Please, please help me gather 10 million signatures now. We need laws enacted to save our VIP diversity.

Register at / and vote NO TO MINING.

This is for our country, this is for the future.

  Gina Lopez                                                              


2 thoughts on “Stop Mining In Palawan

  1. Environmental protection is one of the sacred duties of each Filipino. In fact it should be a prioritry if we really value human life, etc., for without the physical environment no life is possible at all.
    Gerry’s dream shall live as long as we help continue the fight for the preservation of the ecosystem.

    “Mayor Hagedorn in Puerto Princesa has banned mining and logging – and focused on tourism and agriculture.”

    Mayor Hagedorn deserves recognition for this sustainable attitude. The Mayor of Bulan Helen de Castro and that of Matnog and in all other places in Bicol region where degredation of the local environment is tolerated by allowing such illegal and/or destructive mining (margaja mining) and logging should follow the example set by Mayor Hagedorn of Palawan and avoid doing away with the argument that mining permits are issued by the provincial governor for mayors are obliged by law and by international treaties also to protect their local environment from such unsustainable practices.

    Mayor Hagedorn action fulfills Principle 8 of the Rio Declaration (a major United Nations conference) which states that
    “To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies”.

    The Philippines was one of the signatory countries of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development or the Earth Summit which led to these legally binding documents, namely, the Convention on Biological Diversity, Agenda 21, Forest Principles and Framework Convention on Climate Change.
    Here are the

    27 Principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development :

    Principle 1. The role of humans.

    Human beings are at the centre of concern for sustainable development

    Principle 2. State sovereignty

    States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.

    Principle 3. The Right to development

    The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations.

    Principle 4. Environmental Protection in the Development Process

    In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation from it.

    Principle 5. Eradication of Poverty

    All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world.

    Principle 6. Priority for the Least Developed

    The special situation and needs of developing countries, particularly the least developed and those most environmentally vulnerable, shall be given special priority. International actions in the field of environment and development should also address the interests and needs of all countries.

    Principle 7. State Cooperation to Protect Ecosystem

    States shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem. In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.

    Principle 8. Reduction of Unsustainable Patterns of Production and Consumption

    To achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and promote appropriate demographic policies.

    Principle 9. Capacity Building for Sustainable Development

    States should cooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity-building for sustainable development by improving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, and by enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of technologies, including new and innovative technologies.

    Principle 10. Public participation

    Environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided.

    Principle 11. National Environmental Legislation

    States shall enact effective environmental legislation. Environmental standards, management objectives and priorities should reflect the environmental and developmental context to which they apply. Standards applied by some countries may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic and social cost to other countries, in particular developing countries.

    Principle 12. Supportive and Open International Economic System

    States should cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic system that would lead to economic growth and sustainable development in all countries, to better address the problems of environmental degradation. Trade policy measures for environmental purposes should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade. Unilateral actions to deal with environmental challenges outside the jurisdiction of the importing country should be avoided. Environmental measures addressing transboundary or global environmental problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus.

    Principle 13. Compensation for Victims of Pollution and other Environmental Damage

    States shall develop national law regarding liability and compensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. States shall also cooperate in an expeditious and more determined manner to develop further international law regarding liability and compensation for adverse effects of environmental damage caused by activities within their jurisdiction or control to areas beyond their jurisdiction.

    Principle 14. State Cooperation to Prevent environmental dumping

    States should effectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the relocation and transfer to other States of any activities and substances that cause severe environmental degradation or are found to be harmful to human health.

    Principle 15. Precautionary principle

    In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

    Principle 16. Internalization of Environmental Costs

    National authorities should endeavour to promote the internalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments, taking into account the approach that the polluter should, in principle, bear the cost of pollution, with due regard to the public interest and without distorting international trade and investment.

    Principle 17. Environmental Impact Assessments

    Environmental impact assessment, as a national instrument, shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and are subject to a decision of a competent national authority.

    Principle 18. Notification of Natural Disaster

    States shall immediately notify other States of any natural disasters or other emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects on the environment of those States. Every effort shall be made by the international community to help States so afflicted.

    Principle 19. Prior and Timely Notification

    States shall provide prior and timely notification and relevant information to potentially affected States on activities that may have a significant adverse transboundary environmental effect and shall consult with those States at an early stage and in good faith.

    Principle 20. Women have a Vital Role

    Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development.

    Principle 21. Youth Mobilization

    The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development and ensure a better future for all.

    Principle 22. Indigenous Peoples have a Vital Role

    Indigenous people and their communities and other local communities have a vital role in environmental management and development because of their knowledge and traditional practices. States should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development.

    Principle 23. People under Oppression

    The environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation shall be protected.

    Principle 24. Warfare

    Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development. States shall therefore respect international law providing protection for the environment in times of armed conflict and cooperate in its further development, as necessary.

    Principle 25. Peace, Development and Environmental Protection

    Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible.

    Principle 26. Resolution of Environmental Disputes

    States shall resolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by appropriate means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

    Principle 27. Cooperation between State and People

    States and people shall cooperate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership in the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this Declaration and in the further development of international law in the field of sustainable development.

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