Northwestern University Holds Environmental Forum On Black Sand Mining

Northwestern University BlackSand Mining Forum

Yesterday, with some 300 students, I went to vote at the first ever forum on BLACK SAND MINING at the Northwestern University New Media Hall.

Photo by DEFEND Ilocos and Piso Para sa Kalikasan

Ilocanos protested all forms of mining at the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol’s Sangguniang Panlalawigan Hall back in June (here). In spite of Board Member Joel Garcia’s withdrawal of his infamous resolution (here), the threat of black sand mining in the province continues to hang over.

PanelistsDefend Ilocos Exhibit

Representing DEFEND Ilocos, Madonna Rabang Peta was instrumental in bringing an art and photo exhibit by students in Ilocos Sur. Also one of the panelists, she gave a clear-cut presentation of the mining status in the Ilocos Region

Co-guest panelist Arthur Valente of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte says — there should be more follow-ups for fora on environmental threats and degradation, especially for the young minds to ponder on.

Anti-mining advocates, Ilocos Times columnist Steve Barreiro and Patrick Cerezo of the Kabataan party-list served as reactors.

Atty. Joel Garcia assured the attendees that he will not support black sand mining, not now, and in the future, garnering him a courteous applause.

NU Forum on BSM

Says Shermon Cruz, convenor of the black sand mining forum, organized by the KWAGO Society.

The “revealing” discussion on Black Sand Mining this afternoon is bit better in “content and context” than the SP Public Hearing we had a few months back. What was presented were real data, assessments, intensive research, case studies, immersion experiences, personal stories, legal and media views on black sand mining and its real (not potential) impacts. Students, professors and concerned citizens were exposed to real NGO-GO-GA-NGA-PO-Party list-Media talks and dynamics of mining (small and large scale), quarrying, public safety and risks, environmental governance, government enforcement issues, impact to poverty incidence, food security, public safety, resilience, climate change and others. Student questions were direct and reactions were straight to the point.

The AwakeningSharing my journey as a LEAD Movement member.Picture 050Taking out the black in black sand and the verdant in nature.NU Forum and ExhibitBleakEffects of MiningFishwith KWAGO Society
Photos by DEFEND Ilocos, LEAD Movement , Shermon Cruz and BlauEarth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Environment wins in Ilocos Norte

As of late, anti-mining protesters in Ilocos Norte can heave a sigh of relief with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s junking of a resolution that will favor black sand mining in Ilocos Norte. Citing environmental implications at a joint committee hearing in June, eco-warriors hailing from the different sectors in the province protested against the said resolution, rationalizing the position of the government of Ilocos Norte on black sand mining, passed by Board Member Joel Garcia.

The total ban on black sand mining stays.

I have to agree with Defend Ilocos that the collective courage displayed by the people of Ilocos Norte is very commendable and a model for mining-affected communities to follow.

Environment watchdogs in Ilocos Norte vow to fight all forms of mining and environment degradation.

Update: From Board Member Joel Garcia — the resolution rationalizing the position of the government of Ilocos Norte on black sand mining has been withdrawn.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014