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CONFERENCES/ MEETINGS
Steering Committee 2006
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Conference on Mining
CBD Conference
RNIP Meets Dumagats
 
 

National Indigenous Peoples Conference on Mining

More than 200 IPs coming from all over the Philippines and representatives of civil society organizations (CSO) support groups met in Baguio City, the Philippines between 12 to 14 March 2006 to discuss urgent issues concerning mining in the country following a new effort by the Philippine government to make the mining industry a major source of revenue. The meeting discussed the prevailing situation of IPs in the country and assessed the various threats faced by IP communities. Participants and support NGOs also shared different skills and tools that can enhance capacities of IP communities to confront the problems related to large scale mining.

The meeting was convened in the light of a mining industry revitalized by the recent Supreme Court decision that the Financial Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) provisions of the Mining Act of 1995 is constitutional, meaning that foreigners are allowed to own mining operations in the country.

Some of the topics discussed during the conference include: legal remedies against mining, small scale mining of "clean gold", health and environmental impact of mining, alternative livelihoods, community action and monitoring, food security, agriculture and mining. The main conclusion of the conference was that the on-going revitalization of the mining industry has created a major threat to IP rights and to their communities and protected areas which are largely within the ancestral domains. Many cases of human rights abuses, social and physical dislocation and destruction of property were heard from testimonies of IP participants during the conference.

The meeting adopted a plan of action to protect the gains and pursue the advocacy of confronting the many threats that challenge IP communities. This plan of action included a campaign for adoption of an alternative mining bill that would stressed that mining should be based on needs, only for Filipinos and provide effective mechanisms to preserve the environment.

The conference was co-organized by the following organizations: Anthrowatch, Assisi Foundation, Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Foundation for the Philippine Environment, Haribon, KASAPI, PAFID, LRC/KSK, PhilDHRRA and the Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM).

A public rally was held at the BagiuoPeoplesPark at the end of the three-day meeting.


 

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