August 30, Webinar: Defending land & environmental defenders in the Philippines

Sunday, 30 August
7 pm Pacific – 10 pm New York (10 am Manila, Monday, 31 August)
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Beverly Longid, Global Coordinator of International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL) and International Officer of Katribu

Atty. Arvin Dexter M. Lopoz (No. 2 in the 2000 Philippine Bar Examinations), Spokesperson of the Union of Peoples Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM). “Defending the Lumad defenders”

Rurelyn Bay-ao, Youth Coordinator of Sabokahan Unity of Lumad Women, Philippines’ Focal Person on the Executive Council for Asia Indigenous Youth Platform (AIYP) and a spokesperson of Save Our Schools (SOS) Network. “Life in Pantaron, life in evacuation”

Atty. Jackelyn Mariano,  Co-Chair of the International Committee of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) which is a member of the US chapter of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP).

The end of August in the Philippines marks National Heroes’ Day, commemorating the Cry of Pugad Lawin–a revolt that sparked the 1896 Philippine revolution against 333 years of colonial rule by Spain followed by the US, then Japanese occupation. We invite you to a forum on what it means to defend Philippine sovereignty today.

The Philippines is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia despite its vast wealth in mineral reserves and natural resources. In 2006, the U.S. embassy in Manila estimated its resources could be worth upwards of $1 trillion in natural gas and oil. According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, 70% of its mineral resources may be in Mindanao. This wealth has attracted many foreign transnational and multinational companies to invest in the Philippines. But contrary to the Philippine government’s promise of promoting employment and enhancing the livelihood of the poorest and most marginalized indigenous and rural communities through economic liberalization, these foreign investments have spawned massive land-grabbing, environmental degradation, displacement of indigenous communities, killings of land rights defenders and other human rights violations. The Philippines is number one in terms of land and environmental defenders killed in Asia and second in the world next to Colombia, according to a new report by international and human rights watchdog Global Witness. A total of 212 land and environmental defenders were killed in 2019, the highest number of registered murders of such defenders in a single year. The threat to human rights, land and environmental defenders and to anyone who expresses dissent against the government is exacerbated with the Anti-Terrorism Law now in effect in the Philippines.

What is the importance of land and environmental rights defenders in protecting and defending Philippine sovereignty? Are the existing land and environmental laws made to protect their interests? How is their struggle for land, education and self-determination inseparable from the struggles of the rest of the Filipino people?

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Hosted by:

Liyang Network

Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

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Balaod Atenista


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