On January 2017, the Sites of Struggles (SOS) Conference of PMPI has conceptualized and affirmed a nationally synchronized anti-mining action.
The National activity aims to integrate a planned anti-mining toxic tour in Mindanao and the fluvial parade Manicani and Homonhon, enveloping other mining-affected communities in Luzon one caravan.
The original objective of the national caravan is to highlight mining-related issues and echo the call to establish small island ecosystems, watersheds areas, ancestral domains, and prime agricultural lands as no-go-zones for mining operations.
The participants in the conference agreed that bringing together mining affected communities from different parts of the country will:
- Serve as a platform to raise national consciousness on mining issues. Confined in mining affected or host communities, the conflicts and issues remain undiscussed in urban areas.
- Bring the issue to the attention of the Executive and Legislative branch of government. Create more favorable environment to support the current drift of DENR against so called destructive “irresponsible” mining;
- Boost the efforts of the DENR to favor environmental protection over the erring mining companies. Cancel the Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSAs) of violators and deter further moves of mining companies to influence the decision of legislative bodies to favor the extractive industries.
SALAKYAG KALIKASAN 2017 or “Sama-samang Sakay, Lakad, at Layag para sa Kalikasan” is a nationwide caravan, setting off from Zamboanga City on May 30, 2017 with its 200-people core group. The caravan, expected to reach 2,500 participants, will reach Liwasang Bonifacio on June 5 in time for the World Environment Day.
The travelers will proceed to Mendiola to deliver to the President of the Republic of the Philippines documents bearing about hundreds of thousands of signature, urging the government to prioritize the protection of the environment over the mining opereations in the country.
Identified stopovers where Salubong Programs will be held to present the outstanding support of local groups, activists and artsits include: Dipolog City, Cagayan de Oro City, Surigao City, Palo (Leyte), Legazpi City, and Lucena City.
The activity hopes to bring together mining-affected communities and other communities affected by severe environmental degradation and climate change in a unified voice to raise public awareness on their struggles against mining and development aggression:
1. Raise the level of national consciousness on the negative impacts of mining in affected communities;
2. Highlight human rights violations committed in mining communities;
3. Lobby for relevant policy reforms in the mining industry including declaring small island ecosystems, watersheds, ancestral domains, and prime agricultural lands as no-go-zones for mining.