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ATM Statement on the launching of the Global Witness report

Filipino green defenders at great risk Most dangerous country for Environmental Activists in Asia.

Quezon City – Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) denounces the continued impunity against environmental activists and human rights defenders in the Philippines and across world.

The Global Witness report – last line of defense – released today recorded 227 lethal attacks against environmentalists globally. Of these, 29 killings occurred in the Philippines, which is the third highest recorded for a country in the report, and the most dangerous country for environmentalists in Asia.

More worrisome is the trend that this killings are directly related to the protection of forests and natural resources of local and indigenous communities. At this time of climate change impacts, the protection of environmental defenders and the remaining forests must be upheld.

The shrinking space for activism in the Philippines is the direct result of the repressive laws and policies ushered in by the Duterte administration. This government has used the COVID19 pandemic as an excuse to justify the return and expansion of extractive projects like mining, large hydro dams and reclamation projects.

ATM rejects the newest mining policy of the Duterte regime in reversing the suspension and closure orders against erring mining projects. Our alliance also believes that this shrinking space for activism is directly linked to the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and Executive Order #70 and the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) which has red-tagged and harassed local activists, especially indigenous peoples and women.

ATM stands in solidarity with local affected communities who have decided to protect their environment. We will hold President Duterte and the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) accountable for their failure to implement our environmental laws and protect the environmental rights defenders.

We will make sure that justice will be served. #

For details, please contact:

Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator (+63917) 5498218 / September 13, 2021


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