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Dura oil palm fruit. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.
Indigenous peoples and rural communities on Palawan Island, Philippines are facing loss of their forests, rice fields and livelihoods at the hands of oil palm and mining companies.
Palawan is part of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve program, with 49 animal and 56 plant species listed by IUCN as globally threatened. The Provincial Government in Palawan is proposing thousands of hectares of new palm oil plantations for biofuels, which will seriously harm biodiversity and indigenous people’s and farmer’s livelihoods. Concessions for nickel mining and related roads are being granted within biodiversity hotspot areas that are protected by law. They will devastate communities, watersheds and forests in large areas.
The local indigenous network ALDAW (Ancestral Land/Domain Watch), together with other local organizations and NGOs in Palawan, is calling on the government to stop palm oil expansion as well as the construction of mining roads and to cancel mining concessions which threaten watersheds, forests and communities: ALDAW’s petition