Green Thumb Coalition launched in Oriental Mindoro

Press release - February 16, 2016
Calapan, Oriental Mindoro – The province of Oriental Mindoro today welcomed the representatives of the Green Thumb Coalition [1] which aims to raise awareness among the voting public and to provide a venue for candidates to present their agenda for the environment.

Oriental Mindoro is plagued by issues on mining, specifically large scale mining that continues to destroy the province’s environment and poses serious health risks to the communities.

The launch was attended by Governor Alfonso Umali, who underlined the need for a strong push for environmental issues in the 2016 elections. The event was also attended by Calapan City Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan, Calapan City Vice-Mayor Voltaire S. Brucal, Municipality of Naujan Mayor Mark N. Marcos, and Municipality of Victoria Mayor Alfredo G. Ortega, Jr.

“Elections are not just about personalities and politicians, but is an opportunity to enjoin people to act collectively on important issues like the environment and the climate,” said Gina Lopez of Bantay Kalikasan. “We aim to raise the discourse on the environment among the national consciousness during and after the election period.”

The Green Thumb Coalition aims to elevate the issues of: 1) biodiversity and ecosystem integrity; 2) natural resources and land use management and governance; 3) human rights and integrity of creation; 4) climate justice; 5) mining, extractives and mineral resource management; 6) energy transformation and democracy; 7) sustainable food sovereignty; 8) people-centered sustainable development; and 9) waste management.

The Green Thumb Coalition is holding a series of forums nationwide leading up to the May  elections to urge the voting public to choose the right leaders who will champion the environment and share plans for a greener economy.

“We must not let the proliferation of large-scale, environmentally-destructive mining which terrorizes local vulnerable communities’ safety, health and livelihood carry over to the next administration,” said Jaybee Garganera, Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) National Coordinator who cited the upsurge of approved mining permits during the Aquino government.

“This electoral challenge does not only concern us, but future generations who may not have the opportunity to enjoy and experience the beauty of nature and biodiversity,” said Maria Belinda dela Paz, chief operating officer of HARIBON Foundation. “It is important that we consider preserving the wonders of nature and biodiversity in our vote.”

Aside from Oriental Mindoro, the following provinces are also set to express support to the Green Thumb Coalition:  Batangas, Palawan, Zambales, Sorsogon, Tuguegarao, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Samar, Leyte, Cebu, SOCSARGEN, Davao, Zamboanga and CARAGA. ###





NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

[1] The Green Thumb Coalition is composed of:

ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. (ALKFI), Aksyon Klima, Alternative Law Groups (ALG), AlyansaTigil Mina (ATM), AMEN, Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP-JPIC), Bantay Kalikasan Foundation (BK), Bantay Kita, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Bulig Visayas, CBCP-NASSA, Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED), Climate Reality, Dakila, Ecological Justice Interfaith Movement (ECOJIM),  Ecowaste Coalition, FOCUS, Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE), Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI), Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Global Anti Incinerator Alliance (GAIA), Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), Green Convergence, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Haribon, Oceana, PADER, Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK), Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Philippine Rural Recontruction Movement (PRRM), Prelate of Infanta Community, Pugad Lawin Pilipinas Inc. (PLPI), Purple Action for Women’s Rights (Lilak), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), SANLAKAS, Save Sierra Madre, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Youth for Rights (Y4R) and 350.org