Greenpeace statement on the Guimaras oil spill incident

Press release - August 15, 2006
The Philippine government must hold Petron and its partners accountable for damages to marine and coastal ecosystems and for their rehabilitation. The scale of this oil spill may turn to be even larger than the Semirara oil spill last year and threatens at least three marine reserves in Visayas.

A group of local fisherman from BrgyTando Village collect oil from beaches by hand. The oil spilled from the Petron-chartered single hull vessel oil tanker in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Island Philippines which sank on Friday 11th August spilling 2.1 million litres of fuel oil causing a huge slick.

The vessel that sank in Guimaras Strait in the Philippines is an ecological time bomb that may cause long-term and possibly permanent damage to the environment and livelihoods of people. The rich marine and coastal ecosystems in this part of the country provide food and livelihood to communities. Guimaras is also an important tourist destination known for its beaches and seafood.

Oil spills are a very visible reminder that throughout its life cycle, oil can damage our air and our water. Oil causes climate change which in turn triggers extreme weather events. What is clear is that from oil spills to global warming, the price of oil is a lot higher than what we pay at the pump. The only way to avert either of these environmental catastrophes is to reduce our dependence on oil.

In order to prevent new oil spills regulations need to force both the shipping industry and the charterers to operate under the highest standards of ships and crews.

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.

Other contacts: Von Hernandez, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaign Director, +63 917 526 3050 Arthur Jones Dionio, Regional Media Campaigner, +63 921 5615305

Notes: 1.) http://sci.odu.edu/biology/directory/carpenter_files/CarpenterSpringerEFB2005CenterofCenter.pdf

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