Green groups laud SC mining ban in Zambonga peninsula

QUEZON CITY, Philippines—Environmental groups welcomed the Supreme Court decision to ban mining in Zamboanga Peninsula.

“This was a quick and positive response from the high court. We commend the decision of the en banc to ban mining in Zamboanga, considering the many impacts of mining to the environment and indigenous communities there,” said Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) national coordinator.

The high tribunal’s issuance of Writ of Kalikasan on August 16 enjoins the Department of Environment and Natural Resources—Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB), to stop processing mining applications and issuing mining permits.

“Unfortunately, the DENR-MGB has once again displayed its schizophrenic nature, and is turning a blind eye to mining operations that threaten key biodiversity and watershed areas. We hope that this issuance will remind them that giving out mining permits in all areas in the country is critical and has irreversible impacts to the environment,” Garganera added.

Garganera was responding to the reaction of MGB Director Leo Jasareno who was quoted as saying the Supreme Court decision was a “blow to the mining industry.”
Zamboanga peninsula—composed of the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga-Sibugay—is currently host to a total of 170 mining tenements, covering 808,200 hectares, or 51 percent of the total land area of the province.

“This is also why we support the establishment of ‘no go zones’ or areas that will be completely closed to mining applications, such as important biodiversity areas, watershed areas, natural forests, and ancestral domains where IPs have opposed mining operations,” Garganera said.

The Philippine Earth Justice Center, Inc, Alliance to Save the Integrity of Nature, Inc., Kesalubuukan Tupusumi Organization of Subanen People, and several private individuals and residents, in the three provinces, filed the petition for Writ of Kalikasan, last August 9.

3 thoughts on “Green groups laud SC mining ban in Zambonga peninsula

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s