𝐀𝐓𝐌 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐎𝐏27
ATM Press Statement | November 14, 2022
As nations meet in Egypt for COP 27 this November 6 to 18, Alyansa Tigil Mina calls on the Philippine government to immediately put a stop to deforestation and offshore mining, which exacerbate the impacts of climate change.
Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change. When vast forests are cleared or burnt, they release a huge amount of stored carbon. Also, tree removal diminishes an important carbon “sink” that takes up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
According to Global Forest Watch, the Philippines lost 158,000 hectares of primary forest from 2002 to 2021. During the same time period, total tree cover loss was 1.34 million hectares, equivalent to 788 metric tons of carbon emissions.
Aside from deforestation, offshore mining is an alarming issue that needs to be urgently addressed. Already, it is quickly becoming pervasive. The first large-scale offshore mining operation in the country started operations in January 2021.
Meanwhile, 10 offshore mining projects are underway and 7 applications are being processed.
Studies have shown that extractive activities in the seabed, including offshore ore mining and seabed quarrying, have various impacts.
These range from light and noise pollution, extraction of seafloor substrate resulting in sediment disturbance, and potential release of toxic chemicals. There is also an effect on marine life and resources relied upon by coastal communities for their livelihood.
These extraction activities are bound to cause irreversible harm as disturbing the seabed means destroying habitats of many species. Furthermore, these offshore activities have indirect impacts on other land ecosystems, including coastal erosion, instability of shorelines, and changes in the seafloor.
It is imperative that government undertakes measures to immediately halt deforestation and offshore mining in the country. We call on our leaders to make these among our country’s commitments towards curbing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the current climate crisis.