QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A social development and advocacy network is aiming for a legislative path that will provide Mother Nature its own legal rights and be recognized through a law. Recognizing ‘Rights of Nature’ means that human activities and development must not interfere with the ability of ecosystems to absorb their effects, to regenerate their natural capacities, to thrive and evolve, and requires that those responsible, including corporate actors, be held fully accountable for negative impacts on Earth systems. Rights of Nature law, is being pushed primarily by Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), together with NASSA/Caritas Philippines, the development and advocacy arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
MANILA – Organizers of the Rights of Nature Campaign aptly launched the said event earlier today, Sept. 29, at Arrocerros Forest Park, also known as the “Last Lung of Manila.” According to one of the organizers, Caritas Philippines, “’rights of nature’ is a concept, at the heart of which lies the key in addressing our dysfunctional economic system and the legal, social and political and modern cultural frameworks that are destroying people and planet.” The campaign recognizes that the environment has rights just like human beings.
Cause-oriented and civil society organizations are opposing the proposed construction of a P12.2 billion (US$231 million) mega dam inside the Kaliwa Watershed Forest Reserve in the provinces of Rizal and Quezon. According to the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI), a network of civil society organizations, rights groups, peace and faith-based institutions, the proposed New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project (NCWS-KDP) is “a threat and perhaps a disaster waiting to happen to Quezon province and some parts of Rizal province that might even annihilate the Dumagats and Remontado tribal people living in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.”
Ito ang pangunahing layunin ng nagsama-samang grupo na pinangungunahan ng Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated at CBCP-NASSA/Caritas Philippines sa paglunsad ng Rights of Nature campaign upang maipagtanggol ang kalikasan mula sa mapanirang mga indibidwal. Ayon kay Yolly Esguerra, National Coordinator ng PMPI, magkakaroon ng malawakang education campaign sa buong bansa upang mauunawaan ng tao na ang kalikasan ay hindi lamang tulad ng isang bagay na pagkakitaan kundi tulad din ng tao na may mga karapatan na dapat ipaglaban.
The launching of the ‘Rights of Nature (RoN) Campaign’ at Arroceros Forest Park in Manila is made more significant with the plan of the Manila City government to destroy the park and turn it to a commercial space and school gymnasium. “We wanted Arroceros Park as the venue of the campaign launch because it specifically reflects the flawed consciousness of many of us, including the government, on how we appreciate and view nature. We tend to want every open space and vacant land to be paved and transformed into profit and money-making structures or sites without much regard for the other creatures living in that ecosystem,” Yolanda Esguerra, National Coordinator of Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) said.
MANILA, Philippines – Anti-mining advocates are urging lawmakers to pass a law to protect the “rights of nature” and impose stiffer punishment on those who harm the environment. The need for such a measure was discussed during a forum with various environmental groups on Tuesday, June 5, where resource persons agreed on the government’s failure to address environmental problems linked to mining operations.