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PH listed as one of the most unsafe countries for environment crusaders

by | News

For the third consecutive year, the Philippines has been listed as one the most unsafe countries for environmental crusaders in the annual report titled, “Defenders of the Earth,” of a London-based non-government organization.

As per the report released by Global Witness in July last year, 37 out of 168 killings of environment activists in 2017 happened in the Philippines, which places the country second on the list of world’s deadliest country in the world for environment activists.

In 2015, 33 environment crusaders reportedly died in the Philippines, while in 2016, it slightly decreased to 28 – totaling 98 deaths in the past three years.

The country is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural resources and many activists aim to preserve it. However, according to the United Nations State of the World’s Indigenous People, the Philippines facilitates large-scale mining projects of international corporation and other destructive activities.

“A voracious mining industry makes the Philippines stand out for killings in Asia,” Global Witness said in a statement after they released their 2016 report, which they consider to be the “worst year ever” for environmentalists after 201 activists died.

One of the cases mentioned in the Global Witnesses’ 2017 report is the case of Filipina Mia Mascarinas-Green, a lawyer who have taken high-profile environmental cases.

Green died after two gunmen ambushed her on the road. She died in front of her 10-year-old daughter, 2-year-old twins, and her nanny after nine bullets fatally hit her.

Her husband, Stuart Green, however, believes that the motive behind his wife’s murder is not environment-related, but a familial dispute over the ownership of a hotel in Panglao island.

Another name listed in Global Witness’ report is Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez, a priest activist who was also gunned down on December 4, 2017 after facilitating the release of political prisoner Rommel Tucay, an organizer of militant group Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luson.

Most of the other deaths of environment crusaders in the Philippines, according to the report, include the murder of Lumad members and other indigenous group in the Philippines.

Activities linked to mining, coal and extractive industries are also some of the main reasons why the killing rate in the country is high, said the report.

After calculating the death toll of environment activists from 2015 to 2017, Brazil is considered to be the most unsafe country with a total of 144 deaths.

Other unsafe in the list are identified as follows: Colombia, 95 deaths; India, 32; Democratic Republic of Congo, 31; and Nicaragua with 27 cases of deaths.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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