For nearly two decades, the Indigenous community of Didipio in the Philippines has been fighting to stop a gold and copper mine that threatens their environment, farmlands, and families. The mining company and government have responded with violence and intimidation and ignored the people’s rights. But now there is real chance to stop this mine once and for all. In August, the United Nations’ Committee for the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) found the Philippines out of compliance with its own laws and with international conventions on Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Now, during the one year before it reports back to CERD, the government must show that it is enforcing Indigenous rights laws.
This is a moment when international pressure counts. Your letter can help the Indigenous Peoples of Didipio stop the violation of their rights and the destruction of their sustainable economy. Please join us. Stand with the Didipio people by sending a letter to the President of the Philippines today.
This Cultural Survival/Global Response action alert is issued at the request of and with information provided by the Didipio Earth Savers Multi-Purpose Association (DESAMA), Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center-Kasama sa Kalikasan/Friends of the Earth-Philippines, and Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links.
For more information about Indigenous Peoples and mining in the Philippines, see www.piplinks.org andhttp://www.oxfam.org.au/resources/filestore/originals/OAus-MiningOmbudsmanDidipioPhilippines-0907.pdf
For the CERD report, see:http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cerd/docs/co/CERD.C.PHL.CO.20.doc
For information about the impacts of gold mining, seewww.nodirtygold.org/dirty_golds_impacts.cfm
Special thanks to Oxfam Australia and LRC-KsK/FoE Phils for use of their photos and to Julien Katchinoff for creating the map.
Please join Amnesty International’s Business and Human Rights Group on Tues, Sept. 29 from 4-6:30pm at the Shell station at King and Spadina where we will help Shell “clean up” by sweeping and mopping, and asking drivers and pedestrians to sign postcards and petitions. Don your best overalls and bring along a mop, bucket, broom or brush!
For more info please email: [email protected]
Queens Park / Sunday September 27, 2009,
Anti-uranium rally at Queen’s Park, south lawn, organized by Cottagers against Uranium Mining and Exploration. The message is clear: Stop the uranium mining industry from staking further claims, and protect all Ontarians by giving them what residents of British Columbia already enjoy—a ban on uranium mining and exploration.
Radioactive fallout and washout from uranium mining sites is carried for up to 400 kms, resulting in a significant increase of cancer fatalities in a wide area.
“Wherever uranium is mined, it contaminates the land, air and water. Yet the province of Ontario is allowing multi-national companies to strip our local cottage-country forests and drill near our source waters in search of uranium. Most of which, is destined for export. And what they’re planning here are open-pit mines,” says Susanne Lauten, founder of Cottagers against Uranium Mining and Exploration. “British Columbia has a ban on uranium mining, Nova Scotia and Labrador have a moratorium, New Brunswick has strict regulations, but Ontario’s a free-for-all.”
Just 2 hours northeast of Toronto, south of Algonquin Park, an American mining company has bulldozed 20 hectares of mature forest, scraping the earth to bedrock. Followed by 40 test drills each 100 metres deep. All without environmental assessment. This took place in the Trent Severn watershed, source water to tens of thousands of residents.
Uranium has not been mined in Ontario since 1996, when the mines at Elliot Lake were closed, and the rich reserves in Northern Saskatchewan—the largest in the world—became Canada’s primary source. And now, just ten years later, the Ontario government is opening the door to uranium mining again. But this time, it’s open-pit mining, and it’s right on Toronto’s doorstep.
Bruce Cox, Executive Director, Greenpeace Canada
Robert Lovelace, Retired Chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation, and Queen’s University professor, imprisoned for 101 days for resisting uranium prospectors on aboriginal land
Terry Rees, Executive Director, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations, FOCA
Lorraine Rekmans, Author, and witness to World Uranium Congress, Salzburg
Email: [email protected]
*There will be road closures downtown that day due to Toronto Waterfront Marathon, and the Word on the Street.
by Porgera Alliance
September 5th, 2009
A coalition of landowners and native groups announced today that they intend to shut down the Barrick Gold’s Porgera Mine in Papua New Guinea if a petition that they presented to Barrick does not get a positive response. If the landowners – who own 2.5 per cent of the mine – do not receive this response within 30 days of August 25, when they presented the petition, they have pledged to shut down the mine’s operations.
Their petition addresses long-standing concerns at this controversial mine. The petition describes conditions and exploitation at the mine as “appalling and relentless” and demands resettlement of the people within the Special Mining Lease area, amongst other demands.
“We are living as squatters in our own land. We cannot get bush materials to build our house and firewood for making fire. We cannot get fresh water from our creeks and streams. We are made to suffer in our own land while Barrick and the National Government enjoying benefits from our resource and land,” reads the petition.
It concludes, “Given the fact that PNG Government and Barrick are blamed for deliberately neglecting the rights of landowners… the SML landowners are compelled to petition the PNG Government and Barrick Gold that both are obliged to resettle the landowners and address the other issues and that shall be within 30 days from the 25th August, 2009, the date of this petition delivered to the highest office in PNG.”
Download the petition here
International Human Rights Program, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
“Creative Justice: Shell and the Ogoni in Niger Delta”
Monday September 21
A light lunch will be served.
Ken Wiwa is an internationally acclaimed writer and journalist. Currently serving as a Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria, he was previously a weekly columnist for the Globe and Mail. His first book “In the Shadow of a Saint” was published worldwide and won the 2002 Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Legacy Award for non-fiction. A Fellow of the University of Toronto, he was selected in 2005 as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Ken will discuss the settlement he won against Shell Oil in June. The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York brought lawsuits against Shell Oil, its Nigerian subsidiary, and the head of its Nigerian operations, charging them with complicity in human rights abuses against the Ogoni people in Nigeria. The charges include the arrest and execution of Ken’s father, along with eight other environmental activists, in 1995 for protesting the environmental practices of Shell Oil in the Niger Delta. On 8 June 2009, on the eve of trial, the parties agreed to a settlement which provides a total of $15.5 million to compensate the plaintiffs, establish a trust for the benefit of the Ogoni people, and cover some of the legal costs associated with the case.
Please RSVP by contacting Kara Norrington at [email protected]