National Mining Conference
The Association of the Major Religious Superiors in the - Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission (AMRSP-JPICC) in coordination with Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) and the Philippine Misereor Partnership- Mining Advocacy Campaign (PMP) held last February 4-5, 2008 a National Conference on Mining at the AVR with the theme “The Philippine Mining Revitalization Program: Its impact to the Integrity of Creation and the Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines.”
The said conference was organized to: inform and update the participants on the status of the Philippine Bio-Diversity/Environment vis a vis the on-going Mining Revitalization Program and its impact to Indigenous peoples, provide venue for dialogue among the Religious and IPs, explore possible networking/partnership in the Local/National level, and come-up with AMRSP-IPs Mining Conference Statement addressed to the 14th Congress and Church leadership.
More than a hundred religious and lay individuals participated in the said conference. The first day was highlighted with a series of inputs and Situationer reports on the state of the environment, mining, and Indigenous Peoples. Also, there was an input on the legal aspect of the mining campaign and off-shore mining in Tanon Strait . During the second day, there were discussions on the involvement of the Philippine church on mining and direct sharing of the religious and tribal communities in the sites of struggles. Later, a joint Religious-IP statement was drafted and subjected for approval by the body.
The said statement can be read here after. In the said statement several points of action were raised among which are solidarity missions to sites of struggles, dialogues/lobby work with local church and LGUs, etc.
The Secretariat of the conference will release soon a CD compilation of the proceedings, inputs and information gathered during the said conference. For those of us who are interested in receiving such copy, please contact the JPICC-AMRSP Secretariat at (02) 4362561 or at 09163474625.
National Mining Conference Statement
SAVE OUR LAND, DEFEND OUR LIVES,
UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION!
We, the participants of this National Conference consist of Church, Indigenous Peoples and NGOs on mining and IPs’ rights, held this Feb. 4-5, 2008, at the Claret School, in after a two day sharing and reflection have become:
AWARE that we are facing a national crisis as our environment and ecology is seriously damaged, evidenced by the state of our natural resources including our forests and coastal areas;
CONSCIOUS that human activities particularly for profit and personal gain remain to be a primary driver for the unregulated use and unnecessary destruction of our natural endowments;
DISMAYED that despite rapid deterioration of our environment and biodiversity our government continues to embark on an aggressive mining policy;
WITNESS to the wanton desecration of the integrity of God’s Creation and the violation of people’s rights to land, life and livelihood;
APPALLED by the use of force and the creeping militarization of communities struggling against mining;
SENSITIVE to the special needs and inalienable rights of the marginalized sectors, especially the indigenous peoples and the rest of the marginalized poor such as farmers, fishers and women, who are the first and last victims of the wanton abuse of our natural resources;
MORE AWARE of our collective responsibility to nurture and care for the not only for this generation but for generations yet to come.
STRONG BELIEVER AND UPHOLDER that the image of God resides in every human being and in all of creation.
RESPONSIVE to the call of the to become responsible stewards of the , preserving our beautiful land and upholding the integrity of creation;
DETERMINED to blaze paths of solidarity and partnership for the defence of Creation, we hereby declare and vow to:
1. SUPPORT and build strong partnership with communities of resistance in the sites of struggles through the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission;
2. ENCOURAGE and STENGTHEN collective and united action in pursuing legal and meta-legal means necessary as gesture of sustained opposition to the mining policy of government;
3. BUILD AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING of the complicated issues and concerns that confront the poor and marginalized sectors, by studying more closely the situation and context of the indigenous peoples and the other rural poor communities;
4. FACILITATE closer relations with the indigenous peoples and communities affected by large-scale mining, creating platforms of interaction and dialogue between our religious groups and the affected communities at the local level;
5. SUSTAIN our networking and linkaging efforts at the national level, to create synergy and harmonization of initiatives to work together as a community in confronting the issue of large-scale commercial mining.
6. CREATE an Ad hoc committee, composed of the major organizers/participants of the conference, that shall coordinate and plan on the recommended points for action shared by the participants during the conference.
We, as church people in solidarity with indigenous peoples shall stand our prophetic ground. We offer our talents, resources and even our lives if need be as a last line of defence to save our land, uphold integrity of creation and protect human rights.
ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES-
JUSTICE, PEACE AND INTEGRITY OF CREATION COMMISSION
ALYANSA TIGIL MINA
PHILIPPINE MISEREOR PARTNERSHIP – MINING ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN