MANILA, Philippines – “If corporations are given rights by our legal system, why not give legal rights to the ecosystem?" environmental advocate Yolanda Esguerra asked at a recent forum on a proposed measure that seeks to strengthen legal protection for the environment.
Esguerra, Philippine Misereor Partnership Incorporated (PMPI) national coordinator, raised the question before fellow environmental advocates and representatives of civil society and sectoral groups gathered in Quezon City to push for the rights of nature bill on Saturday, July 20.
The Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) is calling on President Duterte to uphold the constitutional mandate to protect natural patrimony and stop destructive development, foremost of which is the multibillion-peso Kaliwa Dam project and various land-reclamation projects in coastal areas.
The PMPI issued the call as the President delivers his Fourth State of the Nation (Sona) Address as he formally opens the 18th Congress on Monday, July 22, 2019.
Church and pro-environment groups in the Philippines held a three-day conference to "strategize" a lobby campaign to pass a law to protect the "rights of nature."
The gathering of about 70 church and civil society leaders from July 20-22 reviewed the provisions of a draft bill they plan to submit to the country's legislators.
The bill aims to provide nature its "own legal rights" and be recognized as a "rights-bearing entity" like people and corporations.
Yolanda Esguerra, coordinator of the Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI), said the draft bill is a product of a series of dialogues and consultations with various sectors of society.
The Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI) is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte on the occasion of his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) to uphold the constitutional mandate to protect the natural patrimony of the nation and the peoples and communities that depend on them. As he opens the 18th Congress, we urge President Duterte to take a decisive political action to reverse the continuing environmental degradation and impending destruction of the environment and displacement of people brought by its own development programs and the national and foreign policies that it has adopted (or the lack of it).