SPM: Advocating for Environmental Protection

The Save Palawan Movement (SPM) is a coalition of civil society groups, grassroots organizations, and concerned citizens dedicated to protecting Palawan's rich natural heritage from environmentally destructive activities such as mining and unsustainable development. The movement plays a critical role in advocating for environmental conservation and sustainable practices in Palawan, often referred to as the Philippines' "Last Ecological Frontier."

Nature and Objectives

SPM's primary objective is to safeguard Palawan's biodiversity and natural resources. The movement campaigns against activities that threaten the island's ecological balance, such as large-scale mining, deforestation, and coal-fired power plants. By mobilizing local communities and engaging with policymakers, SPM seeks to promote sustainable development practices that preserve the environment for future generations.

Formation and Advocacy

The Save Palawan Movement (SPM) was formed in response to significant environmental threats posed by mining activities and unsustainable development in Palawan. The movement officially started in 2011, initiated by the Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC) and other concerned environmental groups, to protect Palawan's rich biodiversity and natural heritage.


SPM was spearheaded by prominent environmental advocates, including Atty. Grizelda Mayo-Anda, the Executive Director of ELAC. The movement gained momentum as various civil society groups, grassroots organizations, and local communities united to tackle the environmental challenges facing Palawan. The initial catalyst for the movement was the increasing number of mining applications and the environmental degradation caused by these activities.

Key Campaigns and Activities

1. No to Mining in Palawan

  • Launched in 2011, this campaign aimed to halt mining operations that threatened the island's ecosystems. The campaign successfully gathered around 10 million signatures online, demonstrating widespread public support for the cause.

2. Save Palawan's Forests Campaign

  • In 2022, SPM launched a campaign focused on protecting Palawan’s remaining natural forest cover from threats posed by mining projects, mono-crop plantations, and poorly planned infrastructure. The campaign called for stronger laws to prevent deforestation and protect forest ecosystems.

3. Opposition to the Division of Palawan

  • SPM played a crucial role in the campaign against the division of Palawan into three provinces. The movement argued that the division would lead to bureaucratic inefficiencies, increased costs, and potential exploitation of natural resources. Through grassroots efforts, educational forums, and public demonstrations, SPM successfully influenced the plebiscite outcome against the division.

Advocacy and Impact

SPM's advocacy efforts include filing legal petitions, organizing community mobilizations, and engaging in policy advocacy to ensure the enforcement of environmental laws. The movement emphasizes the importance of collective action and local involvement in safeguarding Palawan’s ecological integrity and cultural heritage.

Legal Actions

SPM utilizes a multi-faceted approach to achieve its goals:

  • Legal Petitions and Actions: Filing motions and petitions to halt environmentally harmful projects and ensure the enforcement of environmental laws.
  • Community Mobilization: Organizing rallies, signature drives, and educational campaigns to raise public awareness and galvanize support.
  • Engagement with Policymakers: Collaborating with government officials and agencies to advocate for sustainable policies and practices.

The Save Palawan Movement exemplifies the power of community-led environmental advocacy. By uniting diverse groups and individuals, SPM continues to champion the protection of Palawan's unique natural heritage, ensuring that the island remains a sanctuary for its rich biodiversity and the communities that depend on it.

For more information and to support their efforts, visit Save Palawan Movement on Facebook