contributed article by Youth Advocates for Climate Action PH, an alliance of individuals & youth formations that advocates for climate justice. #FridaysForFuture PH
For World Environment Day, we joined the People’s Summit Against Reclamation and protested in front of Manila Bay last Saturday and at Mendiola Peace Arch today
We joined coastal communities and small fisherfolk to call for an end to all reclamation projects across Manila Bay and the Philippines. These reclamation projects are being created for so-called development, yet destroys ecosystems, crucial carbon sinks and biodiversity that protects us from impacts of the climate crisis, and the livelihoods and lives of coastal communities
Manila Bay is home to many species of fish, corals, mangroves, and migratory birds. It also sustains the ecology and livelihood of the fisherfolk that provide food in different parts of our country; Manila Bay is not dead, indeed! But despite its importance to our healthy ecology and way of life, reclamation, and dredging projects are also thriving throughout the country.
As of February 28, 2023 there are 52 reclamation projects in the country, and 22 of these projects are located in Manila Bay, despite it being declared a Key Biodiversity Area by the DENR and other groups (OCEANA, 2023).
Building artificial islands for casinos, airports, and private skyways, among others, will rapture the coastal ecosystem, which has irreversible impacts in the environment. Turbid waters, displacement of the people, demolitions, loss of livelihood, and the future of the youth are at stake because of these unscientific and anti-people projects.
These “development” projects will only benefit the few rich and powerful, while the people agonize over hunger and poverty. They are taking away our very lives and denying our basic human rights!
To Marcos Jr. and DENR, hear the people’s decry and hold corporations behind these catastrophic projects accountable! Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines stand in solidarity with the masses and fisherfolk community all over the country. Along with the power of youth and other sectors, we will continue to rattle the streets and media to amplify our calls.
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