by Ibon Foundation
Instead of large-scale corporate mining, research group IBON
Foundation urges government to promote small-scale and community-
based mining practices as a more sustainable alternative.
Speaking at the launching of Defend Patrimony, IBON executive
director Rosario Bella Guzman says, "Considering the plunder
of our resources and the environmental destruction that large-scale
mining has brought, government should pursue genuine sustainable
`Sustainable mining' has been the buzzword in the mining industry,
and recent government policies on mining such as the National
Minerals Policy and its subsequent Minerals Action Plan speak
of "corporate mining responsibility" through environmental
protection measures and equitable sharing of benefits for community
and various government units.
But Guzman says that the World Bank and mining corporations peddled
the concept of sustainable mining only to help curb further public
opposition to corporate mining.
"Mining can only be sustainable if it genuinely preserves
the environment," says Guzman. "Only community-based
and small-scale mining can have the least impact on natural resources,
and can ensure equitability in benefits among mineworkers and
Guzman adds that sustainable mining in the global context can
be achieved through a multilateral system or association of mine-
exporting countries that would manage the global market of minerals.
This set-up will ensure that exports are meant to spur local mining
industries and there is equitable sharing of benefits.
"In this context, TNC participation is regulated and controlled
by major mine-exporting countries instead of the other way around,"
she says, adding that, "In the end, sustainability of mining
can only be ensured if people themselves have control over resources."
Defend Patrimony (People Asserting their Rights to Minerals and
other Natural Resources) is a broad network of organizations and
individuals against corporate mining and other threats to national