Myke Magalang - PWYP Montreal Conference 2009

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Consultative Session on the Natural Resource CharterPrecept 6: Resource projects may have serious environmental and social effects which must be accounted for and mitigated at all stages of the project cycle.Miguel Magalang, Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns, Philippines

Text of Myke Magalang - PWYP Montreal Conference 2009

  • 1. MYKE R. MAGALANG Executive Director Marinduque Council for Environmental Concerns November 17, 2009 Publish What You Pay International Conference Montreal, Canada

2. The Boeing 747 has almost 6 million interrelated and interlinked parts. If one part is malfunctioning and has a serious implication on other systems of the plane, will you still ride it? 3. Earth Rise! The very first picture of the earth taken on December 24, 1968 by the 7th Apollo mission. It was taken by a rookie astronaut while his companion was reading the very passage of the Bible which says that: In the beginning God created the world and saw that it was good 4. The most perfect picture of the Earth taken when the sun was behind the moon. This was the last picture of the Earth taken by a human being during the 17th and last Apollo mission.The earth pictures reveal that our Planet is finite and fragile. It has also sensitive parts and systems. 5. The Natural Resources Charter is about the fragility and sensitivity of our Planet, our common home, and all the ecosystems, biodiversities and organisms that are on board. 6. The Charter is also about our children and their children, the future generation. It gives challenges and parameters for what we call intergenerational responsibility or equity the demand for intergenerational justice. 7. Resource projects may have serious environmental and social effects which must be accounted for and mitigated at all stages of the project cycle. 8. Disposal of mine wastes and mine tailings into the seas oceans, and waterways destroys rich fishing grounds and aquatic and marine biodiversities. The damages are irreversible and irreparable. 9. Massive flooding caused by collapse of dams containing contaminated materials displaces communities and indigenous peoples, disturb economic activities, destroys livelihoods and agricultural plantations and destroys the very source of food and subsistence of the people. 10. Acid mine drainage are natural effects of mining which kills all the biota in a river or waterway system. It also threatens contamination of the aquifers or ground waters. 11. Lingering health problems caused by heavy metal contamination caused social dislocation and unnecessary spending for families and local government units. Companies can easily deny the causes, and therefore, deny responsibilities. 12. Deaths caused by extractives is a denial of a future of a generation. The serious environmental and social impacts deny them the right to a balanced and healthful ecology. It destroys the very capital that took millions of years to be created. It can never be liquidated by 25 or more years of what they call revenue. 13. After mining operations, ghost villages and heavily damaged environment were left behind causing continuous massive poverty and threats to man and the ecosystems. 14. After amassing wealth, profits are repatriated to home countries of companies while villages are left to suffer from poverty due to non-payment of real property taxes in the local level, tax holidays or tax incentives. 15. The disaster risk of areas, countries or villages have to be given priority consideration in coming up with decisions on whether to extract or not. 16. Risks to climate change is also a pressing concern for small island which aggravates risks to disasters. Small, islands therefore, due to their distinct biodiversities should be considered as no- go-zone when it comes to extractive projects. 17. Valuation of all natural and social resource as well as risks to communities have to be accounted for and seriously backed-up by independent scientific studies done independently by uninterested parties. 18. Availability of local, indigenous and endogenous technology and capacities of communities and local governments to plan, manage and implement mitigation measures have to be weighed more seriously. 19. The precautionary principle as well as international instruments such as the Rio Declaration, Hyogo Framework for Action on DRR, the Kyoto protocol, etc should be given wider dissemination to aid the communitys knowledge on existing guidelines and parameters. 20. In probing resource projects, the burden of proof lies with the proponent to inform communities and peoples of the positive and negative environmental, health and social impacts of the project. Decisions should be devoid of any iota of doubt beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, when communities decide to accept the projects, the burden of responsibility is shifted to them. 21.