The island of Palawan is a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve – a certified ecological and cultural treasure. But now the provincial government wants to open up areas of rich biodiversity and indigenous land to industrial plantations.
Palawan is the home of numerous endemic species – some of them, like the Hornbill, Treeshrew, and Philippine Pangolin, are just a few on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The entire island is a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve and its southern regions the ancestral domains of the Pala’wan indigenous people.
Those living in the remote uplands, such as the Tau’t Batu, have limited contacts with the outside and possess a rich oral tradition and profound environmental knowledge.
In spite of these ecological and cultural values, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has entered into a joint venture with Lionheart Agrotech, an industrial grower of hybrid coconuts.
If it bee realized, more irreplaceable lowland rainforest and indigenous peoples’ farmland would be turned into plantations.
According to the Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG), Lionheart has already destroyed indigenous peoples’ sacred sites and burial grounds without compensating the impacted communities.
Some tribal leaders who have stood up in opposition have reportedly received death threats.
It appears that the company has also encroached on the Mount Mantalingahan Protected Landscape, one of only ten sites of the global Alliance for Zero Extinction in the Philippines and one of the 11 key bird areas in Palawan.
Furthermore, the provincial government recently passed a resolution supporting the opening of indigenous ancestral domains and valuable ecosystems for agricultural, industrial, and other purposes.
All of this is being pushed through in total disrespect of environmental laws and in blatant violation of the indigenous peoples’ rights.
Please support the indigenous peoples’ resistance with your signature – we need to bring international pressure to bear before these ecological and cultural treasures disappear forever!
Please sign our petition and help preserve one of the last true slices of paradise in the Philippines!
And I mean…In 2015, many demonstrations, petitions, and direct resistance took place with the aim of preventing the planned coal-fired power plant on the Philippine island of Palawan.
And the goal was achieved!! on June 6, 2015, the City Council of Puerto Princesa passed “a decision that strictly rejects the construction of a coal-fired power plant on Palawan”.
The fight is not over yet.
Let us make hope out of our fear.
This struggle to save the last paradise in the world with its indigenous and animal inhabitants defines our values and principles.
We find out every day that we have a lot more civil courage than we thought.
My best regards to all, Venus