People's Summit on the Impacts of Reclamation

October 24-25, 2012, University of the Philippines Diliman

Forum on Mangroves & Beach Forest Greenbelts: Towards a Culture of Safety For Philippine Coastal Communities

Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Inc. (PNPCSI), together with with AGHAM- Advocates of Science and Technology for the People and PEOPLE’S NICHE, invites you to

Forum on Mangroves & Beach Forest Greenbelts: Towards a Culture of Safety For Philippine Coastal Communities

Date: Monday, December 9, 2013, 3:00 to 5:30 pm
Venue: UP College of Science Library Amphitheater 
Dr. Jurgenne Primavera, Mangroves & Beach Forests
Dr. Leoncio Amadore, IESM, Climate Change
Dr. Fernando Siringan and Dr. Cesar Villanoy, MSI, Marine Geology


Manila Bay groups invoke wetland treaty against Freedom island reclamation

April 6, 2013 11:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Bay-based groups on Saturday announced they would invoke the 1971 Convention on the Protection of Wetlands to stop the national and local governments from pursuing the controversial Las Pinas-Paranaque reclamation project.

The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and the city governments of Las Pinas and Paranaque are the proponents of the project.

The groups opposing it are the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), Save Freedom Island Movement (SFIM), Sagip Manila Bay Movement (SMBM), Koalisyon Kontra Kumbersyon ng Manila Bay (KKK-Manila Bay) and Anakpawis party list.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chairperson and Anakpawis party list vice chairman Fernando Hicap said the inclusion of Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance should oblige the government to cease and desist from pushing the reclamation of the more than 600- hectare bird sanctuary south of Manila.

“The 1971 International Convention is clear. As a signatory to the covenant, the Philippine government should not lead the destruction of the last bird sanctuary in Metro Manila. Therefore, this reclamation project that would commence with the grand massacre of the critical habitat area should be permanently thrown to the dustbin of history,” said Hicap.

The site of the controversial reclamation project in Manila Bay is the sixth Philippine site designated as ‘Wetlands of International Importance’, and which was included on the list on March 15.

The others on the list are: Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park in Sulu (listed on December 11, 1999); Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary (listed on December 11, 1999); Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro (listed on December 11, 1999); Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu (listed on January 7, 1994); and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan (listed on June 30, 2012).

The Philippine government, which joined the Ramsar Convention in 1994, is compelled  to undertake wetland conservation considerations in its national land-use planning,” and commit to implement and promote “the wise use of wetlands in their territory, thus any activity that would run contrary to wetland preservation like reclamation is strongly prohibited under the convention, Hicap said.

He added: “We have made a issue clear. It is now the task of the Philippine government to drop the reclamation project and follow the Ramsar convention truthfully.”

The Convention on Wetlands—signed in Ramsar, Iran on 1971— is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the “wise use” or sustainable use of all of the wetlands in their territories

Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France said the reclamation project in Las Pinas-Paranaque which will be soon the site of Las Vegas type casino and entertainment center will displace tens of thousands of small fisherfolk and urban poor dwellers, and “will usher another era of catastrophic floods in 37 barangays in Bacoor, 11 barangays in Paranaque and 17 barangays in Las Pinas with floods with a depth of as much as 5.12 meters or equivalent to two-storey building.”

France said the reclamation project in Las Pinas and Paranaque is just one of over 30 reclamation projects to be undertaken by the PRA along Manila Bay.  He said the Manila government under Mayor Alfredo Lim plans to reclaim another 148 hectares of coastal areas near the Manila Yacht Club along Roxas Boulevard—a project also opposed by a big coalition of sectoral groups. A total of 5,000 hectares of coastal areas in Navotas is also being planned for reclamation.

The PRA is also targeting not less than 13,000 hectares for reclamation in the areas covered by the coastal towns in Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan. The PRA also has reclamation plans in Tacloban City in Leyte, Bacolod City in Negros Occidental, Leganes in Iloilo, Kalibo in Aklan, Cordova, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay in Cebu, said the Manila Bay-based groups.

Press release: Broad alliance calls on Manila LGU: Restoration, not reclamation, in Manila Bay

from People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems (Peoples’ NICHE)
A multi-sectoral alliance for the protection of marine ecosystems is 600915_304768232978513_1890495880_npushing Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim to revoke the city ordinance lifting the ban on reclamation in Manila Bay and allowing Manila Goldcoast Development Corporation to reclaim a portion of the bay for commercial and business purposes.
The newly-formed People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems (Peoples’ NICHE) calls for the restoration, instead of reclamation, of the coastal waters of Manila Bay, amid talks of plans by the local government to open the site for the construction of “Solar City,” a commercial complex for entertainment and tourism.
Community leaders and conveners of the People’s NICHE called for restoring Manila Bay instead of reclaiming the bay during launching of the People’s NICHE today at the RJMC Bldg, Malate Church.
“Further reclamation of Manila Bay will greatly endanger the fragile marine ecosystem which contributes to food production and mitigates the disastrous effects of calamities and floods in nearby areas. The bay also has historical and cultural value that must be preserved for future generations,” said People’s NICHE spokesperson Dr. Jojo Carabeo.
Reclamation is touted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as “an irreversible form of environmental degradation.”
“What the national and Manila City government should focus is to restore the previous pristine environment of Manila Bay and surrounding communities. Until now, the government has not implemented the comprehensive clean up of the bay as ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and 10 other government agencies,” Dr. Carabeo explained.
The SC on February 15, 2011 rendered a decision based on recommendations by the Manila Bay Advisory Committee (MBAC) to set time frames for the agencies to perform the clean up ordered in a “writ of continuing mandamus”. The mandamus was issued in December 2008 as a result of a complaint filed by “concerned residents of Manila Bay” on the alleged inaction of government to improve the bay’s condition.
“The country’s annual fish catch is on a steady decline largely attributable to severe degradation of coastal and marine habitats with up to 98 percent of our coral reefs currently at risk at present, 75.6 percent of mangroves lost in the past 82 years, and 50 percent of seagrass beds lost in the past 50 years,” read the People’s NICHE unity statement.
The broad network has earlier called for the national government to impose a 10-year moratorium on all reclamation projects in the country, a sanction endorsed by 75 organizations that convened in the first ever People’s Summit on the Impacts of Reclamation held last year.
“The history of reclamation projects is riddled with corruption and the lack of social acceptability like what we experienced in the controversial PEA-Amari deal and the anomalous Diosdado Macapagal Highway project. Also, thousands of families in Metro Manila were displaced by reclamation projects,” said Kalikasan PNE National Coordinator Clemente Bautista, Jr.
“Reclamation is an aberration under existing legal framework for ecological sustainability and the climate challenges that we face. The Local Government Code likewise requires a national law and a plebiscite in the event of substantial alteration of the territorial boundaries of local government units,” added Atty. Gloria Ramos of the Philippine Earth Justice Center.
People’s NICHE is a nation-wide alliance convened by Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines, PAMALAKAYA, Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology – UP Diliman, AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Kalikasan Partylist, ASAP – Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress, Philippine Earth Justice Center and Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center Inc. ###
People’s NICHE Conveners: Clemente Bautista (09228449787), Dr. Jojo Carabeo (09194648631), Atty. Gloria Ramos 09228532108)