ATM Press Statement: International environmental award to Rene Pamplona, Mindanawan human rights defender

December 19, 2018

Quezon City - Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) excitedly welcomes the news today that an international award was given to one its leading human rights defenders from Mindanao.

 

Mr. Rene Pamplona, Campaign-Advocacy Officer of the Convergence of Initiatives for Environmental Justice, Inc. (CIEJ) received the Alexander Soros Foundation Award for Environmental and Human Rights Activism for 2018.  The award was announced by the foundation today.

 

Pamplona has been coordinating the campaign in South Cotabato against the “Unholy Trinity” of projects, which includes the Tampakan Mining Project, the CONAL coal-fired power plant in Sarangani and coal-mining projects in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

 

The coal mining projects will supply the coal for the CONAL coal-fired power plant which in turn will fuel the energy needs of the Tampakan mining project.  The Tampakan mining project straddles the four provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and Davao del Sur in Mindanao.

 

Our alliance believes that Pamplona deserves this recognition for his roles in organizing and educating the affected-communities on the serious negative impacts of these projects to their lives and livelihoods.  Equally important, these projects will bring permanent land-use changes and destroy the ecological balance of several watersheds, primary forests and ancestral domains of indigenous peoples or lumads.

 

Pamplona has also worked tirelessly for more three decades with Church-based groups and national environmental organizations to assist communities in protecting their food, land, water and biodiversity resources.  We laud this dedication and passion to his mission.

 

As a human rights defender, ATM salutes Pamplona on his generous service to the people.  And this award comes in a very timely manner, as environmental activists join the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights last Dec. 10, 2018.

 

Our alliance recognizes that this award will increase Pamplona’s security risks, as he has suffered and continues to face numerous threats and harassments while performing his work.  We demand that the Philippine government ensure that the safety and well-being of Pamplona and all his co-workers as well as community partners, are ensured.

 

Together with Rene Pamplona, ATM stands in solidarity with all mining-affected communities who continue to struggle and resist destructive and irresponsible mining. #

 

 

For details, please contact:

 

Jaybee Garganera (+63917) 549-82-18 – nc@alyansatigilmina.net

Rene Pamplona (+63965) 288-42-66 – microbs@protonmail.com

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