OceanaGold's operations should immediately be stopped by DENR to prevent further pollution, and should immediately hold these environmental criminals accountable," said Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE).
Long-term exposures can damage our liver and kidneys," said Bautista
"These heavy metals and other harmful chemicals can accumulate along the interconnections in Nueva Vizcaya's various ecosystems, which threatens its status as a watershed haven, biodiversity hotspot, and potential agricultural center of the Cagayan Valley," Bautista
noted that OceanaGold
was a consistent environmental criminal throughout its different projects across the globe It has even figured in the filing of a USD $301 million lawsuit against the government of El Salvador in South America when the government ruled to deny OceanaGold's mining permit for failing to comply with community and environment regulations.
"We challenge the Aquino government to stand up against the corporate bully that is OceanaGold
The DENR must immediately order OceanaGold
to cease and desist its operations.
must be compelled to immediately compensate all communities it has adversely affected in its spate of environmental and rights violations, and ordered to immediately address all its outstanding environmental, social and cultural crimes-or else face permanent closure," ended Bautista.#
Reference: Clemente Bautista - 0922 844 9787
- Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE)
Clemente Bautista, national coordinator of Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) said OceanaGold's mining operations had posed "a serious environmental risk" on the communities in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya.
An Environmental Investigative Mission (EIM) conducted this month by Kalikasan PNE, scientist group AGHAM
, and provincial alliance Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Novo Vizcayano para sa Kalikasan (ANNVIK) in the river systems affected by the mining operations showed that there is "massive heavy metal contamination" in the water, particularly in the Didipio river.
"The copper concentration levels in the tested water was also found to be twice above the permitted levels for irrigation use and eight times the maximum level for the survival of organisms," Bautista
"These levels would severely deplete fish and shellfish populations, and stunt the growth and productivity of agricultural lands that are irrigated or flooded by these waters."
The EIM also found presence of heavy metal copper that "greatly exceeded the maximum tolerable levels" for water organisms.
There is also copper presence in the rice fields, which affect land productivity and can be passed on through human consumption.
said "copper poisoning can cause various diseases that afflict our circulatory, digestive and excretory systems.
Long-term exposures can damage our liver and kidneys."
"The community's livelihood has diminished with the loss of farms and freshwater, and those who have resorted to jobs in OceanaGold
found themselves discriminated and with no proper benefits and protection.
Many remain unjustly compensated for the encroachment and damage to their land and livelihood.
operations should immediately be stopped by DENR to prevent further pollution, and should immediately hold these environmental criminals accountable," Bautista
In 2011, the Commission on Human Rights
recommended to President Aquino to withdraw OceanaGold's FTAA after the company was found guilty of human rights violations against the communities resisting its operations.
The company however continued its operations, going into commercial production since last year.
was a consistent environmental criminal throughout its different projects across the globe," said Bautista