Palawan is witnessing one of the largest-ever conversions of land into oil palm estates. Existing industrial-scale plantations belonging to Agumil, San Andres and CAVDEL companies have already inflicted irreparable damage to precious environments. Oil palm development has not brought prosperity but rather persisting social unrest, severe human rights violations, clear-cutting of virgin forest, loss of biodiversity, genetic erosion of traditional cultigens, contamination of water sources, increasing malnutrition, farmers’ indebtedness towards companies and financing banks, low employment rates and exploitative working conditions. If oil palm expansion is allowed to continue, the socio-ecological sustainability of the whole province will be severely compromised.
The Philippines remains one of the world’s most dangerous countries for land rights activists. More than 120 environmental campaigners have been murdered over the past 15 years. Indigenous groups often bear the brunt of human rights violations by state security forces, especially in areas with mining and plantation interests. Impunity remains a major factor in the perpetration of violence by private armies of powerful families and companies, often in connivance with military apparatuses. Due to the exacerbation of armed conflicts, the militarization of the ancestral domain continues. Also in Palawan, the safety for activists is increasingly deteriorating.
We advocate for biocultural diversity, since we believe that the beauty of our environment and the uniqueness of our cultures are indivisable.
Palawan is a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve.Throughout the Philippines, the island still has the highest percentage of forest cover and hosts more than 1,825 species of higher plants. About 11 of the 25 non-flying mammals, indigenous to Southeast Asia, are endemic to Palawan - as well as 14 bird species. At least thirty-one of its animal species are single-island endemic, and two of them are listed in the IUCN Red Data Book. Our local indigenous groups possess a profound knowledge of wild plants (e.g. medicinal), as well of cultigens (e.g. more than 70 varieties of upland rice), a complex mythology and specific shamanic rituals to re-establish the socio-ecological balance.
504 Rizal Avenue, Bgy. Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa City 5300 Palawan, The Philippines
Monday - Friday
09:00 am - 05:00 pm