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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

 

International conference to study impact of mining in Mindanao set

by Carina Cayon

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 24 (PIA) -- An international conference slated on January 26-27 in the city seeks to study on the implication of mining operations in Mindanao.

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and the Ateneo de Davao University have set the International Conference on Mining in Mindanao this week at the AdDU campus, this city.

AdDU President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ said the conference intends to update the delegates on and to analyze the current mining operations in Mindanao, and how these impact on the environment, livelihood, rights and lives of people within and outside the mining communities.

Bearing the theme “Mina para Nasudnong Interest sa Katawhang Pilipino (Mining for the National Interest of the Filipino People),” the conference aims to promote the need for new mining policies in the country that are pro-Filipinos and pro-environment.

The gathering would want to share people’s initiatives and gains in addressing the negative effects of mining, and to strengthen the networking among people’s organizations and non-government organizations doing work on mining.

“Primarily, we thought of holding the conference to promote greater participation in dialogue and exchange among the peoples of Mindanao affected by mining, and by doing so, to strengthen the national and local call to study the implications of responsible mining,” stated Fr. Tabora, a member of the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council.

“We want to understand the appropriations of mining in Mindanao both large scale and small scale,” he said.

Fr. Tabora also called on the review of mining laws of the country including on small-scale mining policies.

“We are unhappy that so many people lost their lives,” he said referring to the disasters brought about by small-scale mining activities in the northern part of the region.

Fr. Tabora said that the outputs of the conference will be published focusing on policy recommendations and as a resource for educators and legislators.

He said recommendations will also be endorsed for the consideration of the Executive and Legislative bodies and other pertinent government agencies “in the re-assessment of the Mining Act of 1995 to regulate mining in the country according to the concept of sustainability.”

The two-day conference has invited MiningWatch Canada research coordinator Dr. Catherine Coumans to be the keynote speaker.

Fr. Tabora said that Coumans has done extensive works on mining in the country particularly in Marinduque, and on international framework on responsible mining.

Other speakers include economic analyst Andrew Bauer of the Revenue Watch Institute; Atty. Marvic Leonen, co-founder of Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center, Inc.; Steve Blodgett, consultant on Mining Environmental Issues; and former House of Congress Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)

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