(AFA and PAKISAMA support the campaign of the people of Mindoro against the entry of large-scale foreign mining that will destroy, among others, watershed areas and agricultural lands in the island province. One of PAKISAMA’s youth farmer leaders held a hunger strike during the World Food Summit in Rome in November, in solidarity with other farmers and indigenous peoples who staged a hunger strike in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Quezon City, to demand the cancellation of an environmental compliance certificate granted to Norwegian mining company Intex.)
With the temporary revocation of the environmental clearance certificate (ECC) for the Mindoro Nickel Project, protesters are celebrating partial victory against the operations of Intex Resources, even as they vowed to continue their opposition to all mining activities on the resource-rich island.
“We claim this as a victory, although the ECC was not totally cancelled,” said Alyansa Tigil Mina coordinator Jaybee Gargarena in a telephone interview Monday. “This will be a long struggle still,” he added.
On Friday, 25 protesters composed of indigenous peoples, priests, and other affected residents of Mindoro island ended their 11-day hunger strike in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) offices after Sec. Joselito Atienza announced that he had temporarily revoked the ECC of the mining company.
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By Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA)
November 15, 2009
On the opening of FAO’s World Summit on Food Security, Jonjon Sarmiento, a young farmer for Mindoro Island in the Philippines, and a participant to the CSO Forum Parellel to the World Summit on Food Security, will go on a hunger strike to protest the mining project to be operated by Intex Resources, a giant mining company in Norway.
The Mindoro Nickel Project is located at Victoria, Oriental Mindoro, an island in the Southern Part of the Philippines. It will cover 9,720 hectares of critical watershed areas . The project will affect the rice farmers in the nearby towns , since the watershed area is the farmers’ main source for irrigation.
From November 17 onwards, volunteer campaigners in Mindoro will hold a hunger strike and fasting at the Philippines; Department of Environment Office in Quezon City, Philippines. “
I am from this town. I am a farmer. I am a youth leader. I am here in Rome. So , I will join my townmates in their hunger strike while I am here in Rome”, Mr. Sarmiento said.
Continue reading Young farmer from Philippines to go on a hunger strike in Rome to protest nickel miningg project by Norway’s Intex Resources
16 November 2009
Hon. LITO ATIENZA
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Quezon City, Philippines
Dear Hon Atienza,
We are participants gathered here in Rome, Italy, for the Peoples’ Food Sovereignty Now: Civil Society Organizations’ Forum Parallel to the World Summit on Food Security, being held November 14-17, 2009.
Mr. Jonjon Sarmiento, one of the delegates to this Forum, a young farmer from Mindoro, Philippines, started his hunger strike to protest the mining project to be operated by Intex Resources of Norway, in his hometown . We learned that this project will threaten the food security of the people of Mindoro, since the project will severely affect the critical watershed areas which provide irrigation to the ricefields and fruit farms in this island, which is a food basket of your Southern Luzon region.
We learned that your agency has issued an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) against the will of the people and the local authorities to be affected.
We support the hunger strike of Mr. Sarmiento as well as the hunger strike of 25 other farmers and indigenous peoples in front of your office.
Continue reading Letter of Support to Hunger Strikers against Mining Project in Mindoro