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Environment petition reaches 10 M signatures

Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Several groups have reached their target of collecting 10 million signatures calling for environment protection.

Gina Lopez, who chairs the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc., presented yesterday the signatures they gathered in support of the Save Palawan Movement and the ALKFI program Bantay Kalikasan’s “Yes to Agriculture and Ecotourism” campaign.

“These are 10 million people already fed up with the continuous destruction of nature, the source of life and source of living of all human beings. These are 10 million Filipinos who are looking for leaders that are not afraid to take huge and concrete actions for the environment, especially as we begin to face the dangers of climate change,” Lopez said in a news briefing in Quezon City.

Most of the signatures came from schools, and the farming and fishing sectors in areas affected by mining.

“The signatories are members of around 819 organizations spread out in Luzon, the Visayas, Mindanao, Metro Manila,” Lopez said.

She said the country, reportedly among the world’s most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change, would benefit more if the government would focus on ecotourism and agriculture, especially with its rich natural resources and biodiversity.

Other group leaders also emphasized the ill effects of “dirty energy” to the environment, such as the use of fossil fuels like coal to generate power.

“The approval of 59 coal power plants and 118 mining permits under the Aquino administration shows that the President’s position on the climate issue lacks sincerity, at the expense of the people,” said Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino president Leody de Guzman said.

Lopez added that coal is not cheap and can never be clean.

“The cost of coal is the livelihood of indigent communities and indigenous peoples who rely on agriculture and fisheries for their survival,” she said.

Even religious groups that are actively engaged in the issue of climate justice and energy transformation joined in calling for the international community to unite in reaching for ambitious targets and just agreements in the ongoing climate talks.

“The call to protect our common home is not only addressed to our local leaders, but to leaders of the world. A real climate deal must heed the cry of the poor, which according to Pope Francis’ Laudatory Si encyclical, is the cry of the earth,” said Angel Cortez of the Ecological Justice Interfaith Movement.

ACIRC AGRICULTURE AND ECOTOURISM ANGEL CORTEZ OF THE ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE INTERFAITH MOVEMENT BANTAY KALIKASAN GINA LOPEZ LAUDATORY SI LINGKOD KAPAMILYA FOUNDATION INC LOPEZ MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO METRO MANILA POPE FRANCIS
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