MANILA, Philippines – Mining-affected communities and Mindanao bishops vowed to demand for accountability from mining companies amid a global climate crisis.
In a conference organized by the Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) on October 9, groups from all over the Philippines converged and promised to “continue to dialogue, listen and to stand in solidarity with Mother Nature and against any form of destructive mining.
“We will vigorously engage our government to demand greater responsibility and accountability from mining companies violating the rights of people and nature and will demand policy makers to push for laws that would protect all nature’s rights,” the groups said in a statement.
“We will continue to help strengthen our communities to face bigger challenges and to claim their right to decide on their destiny as a people,” it added.
Held twice a year by the PMPI, the conference aims to further the dialogues between key local communities and dioceses in grappling and discussing issues, including climate change.
The conference’s closing statement also called out the violations and misinterpretation of environmental laws by mining corporations, demanding they pay damages to humans and the environment.
Bishop Cerilo Casicas of the Diocese of Marbel said that caring for the “common home” and protection of the environment does not only fall on the hands of priests but also on laypersons, adding that empowering communities should be a “primordial concern” of groups.
“The work for justice and the work for the protection of the creation appears to us as constitutive to our work on evangelization,” he said. – Rappler.com