Palawan Campaign: UNESCO express concern

Mar 11, 2011

We would like to share with all you the good news about UNESCO DG formally forwarding a letter of concern on the mining threats in Palawan to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the National Commission of the Philippines for UNESCO.

During the past months, our collegues from ALDAW has been corresponding with UNESCO, providing them with updates on the mining threats faced by the Palawan Man & Biosphere Reserve, while requesting the organization to take concrete actions, in this respect. Rainforest Rescue has been supporting this efforts with an email protest action to UNESCO.

The ALDAW team really appreciate the concern expressed by UNESCO DG Irina Bokowa and they regard this as an additional promising step in their campaign in defense of Palawan indigenous peoples.

Please find below a copy of the letter of ALDAW to UNESCO and the letter of UNESCO DG.

Dear Mr. Blanco,

Development Management Officer III
UNESCO National Commission of the PHilippines

Thank you so much for your message.

We are very pleased to know that UNESCO DG has forwarded her concern to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the National Commission of the Philippines for UNESCO. We welcome and appreciate this action and, more, importantly, we will be waiting to see how this formal step will translate into concrete actions aiming at sparing our beloved Province from ecological and human catastrophe.

Let me assure you that ALDAW network members, indigenous communities,NGOs and civil society will continue to invest their efforts in the protection of UNESCO Palawan Man & Biosphere Reserve, so that future generations will enjoy bountiful natural resources and a favorable and healthy environment in which to grow and prosper.

We will keep UNESCO updated on the threats that Palawan is facing and we hope that, through these efforts, a genuine and transparent process of exchange can be built between your organization and all those forces believing that Man & Biosphere Reserves cannot solely survive on paper, but need constant monitoring and the implementation of concrete measures assuring their integrity and safeguard.

Through our Google group, Facebook and other media, we will pass this information to other NGOs and to all those partners (at the National and International Level) which share with us a common mission: Making Palawan a Free from Mining Province

With all best wishes

Artiso Mandawa

ALDAW Chairman