No To Mining in Mt. Bulanjao

A Community's Stand Against Environmental Degradation


In the verdant landscapes of Palawan, the fight for environmental preservation takes center stage as communities rally against mining operations in Mt. Bulanjao. This resistance, symbolized in a poignant image of community members holding a banner reading "Ayaw Namin ng Mina sa Mt. Bulanjao" ("We don't want mining in Mt. Bulanjao"), highlights the ongoing struggle to protect ancestral lands and natural resources from industrial encroachment.

Community Advocacy and Actions

The communities affected by the proposed mining activities have actively participated in various advocacy and lobbying efforts to halt these operations. Key activities include:

  1. Submission of Petitions and Position Papers: Community leaders and members have drafted and submitted petitions to local and national government bodies.
  2. Public Demonstrations and Dialogues: Numerous public forums and dialogues have been conducted, bringing together stakeholders from local governments, non-governmental organizations, and community groups. These meetings have been instrumental in raising awareness and fostering solidarity among various sectors. For example, a significant consultation meeting was held with the Management & members of Panalingaan Latud & Taburi CADT holders regarding RTNMC’s expansion in Mt. Bulanjao, resulting in a resolution to deny the expansion.
  3. Legal Actions and Mobilizations: The community's determination to protect their lands has led to legal actions, including the filing of a case against a private entity for unauthorized activities within their ancestral domain. Additionally, mobilizations have been organized to physically protest and prevent the encroachment of mining activities.

Impact on Policies and Practices

The persistent advocacy efforts have started to yield results in terms of influencing policies and practices at both the local and national levels. Notable outcomes include:

  • Increased Governmental Awareness: Through the submission of position papers and petitions, government officials have been made aware of the community's opposition to mining and other environmentally detrimental projects. This has prompted further discussions and reconsideration of proposed policies and practices.
  • Community Empowerment and Capacity Building: Various training and capacity-building sessions have been conducted to empower community members, particularly women and indigenous peoples, to effectively participate in advocacy and decision-making processes. These initiatives have strengthened the community’s ability to voice their concerns and assert their rights.

Call to Action

The struggle to protect Mt. Bulanjao from mining continues, and broader support is crucial. We call on environmental advocates, policymakers, and the general public to:

  1. Support the Community’s Stand: Amplify the voices of Palawan’s indigenous communities by sharing their stories and supporting their petitions.
  2. Engage in Policy Advocacy: Participate in advocacy efforts aimed at strengthening environmental protection laws and ensuring their strict enforcement.
  3. Promote Sustainable Alternatives: Advocate for and support sustainable development projects that respect the rights and preserve the heritage of indigenous communities.