A statement of support for DENR’s campaign to protect the people and environment

“Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God ’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another
and of the environment.”

                                                                             -Pope Francis

The DENR is under fire. The mining industry is assailing the leadership of DENR Secretary Gina Lopez. For her relentless efforts to suspend mining that harms people and mining that harms our watersheds, Secretary Gina is under attack.

The University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council, together with Ecoteneo: Ateneo Ecology Advocacy and Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, President of Ateneo de Davao University, express its full support for Secretary Gina Lopez in the suspension of mining firms that do not comply with the law. Some of these firms operate within functional watersheds, polluting the waters and rendering the watersheds inutile.

Secretary Lopez has embodied in her actions the mandate of the DENR to ensure the well-being of citizens by protecting the environment. In the early months of her leadership and service, she mobilized the youth and leaders from across all sectors towards a joint protection, conservation, and management of our natural resources. As a nation, we are now approaching the frontier of sustaining and enjoying an environment that is clean, healthy, and sustainable, an environment that we can share with the next generation.

We believe that there is NO GREATER ACT than to PROTECT our common and only home!

We believe that matters of the Earth cannot be compromised and that business interests can be moderated.

We continue to grow an economy that includes the poorest of the poor, not one that drives them to the margins, not one that thrives while many suffer.

We recognize that the environment is not separate from us. The environment is at the core of human lives as much as our human persons complete the environment. When the Earth’s natural systems fail, so do we ail. When nature gives up, our life gives out.

We understand that the immediate impact of a mining closure is the displacement of mining workers. We support the hiring of displaced miners in the rehabilitation of mining sites and the transformation of these sites for ecotourism.

We support a more sustainable approach to economic progress. Mining does not have the monopoly in terms of moving the economy forward. Sustainable enterprises ensure progress while caring for natural resources.

Our environment and many of our peoples have suffered enough from the shortsightedness of the few. Mother Earth’s wounds can heal only when we stop the abuses. Mother Earth, and the communities she nurtures, need all of us.

We are called to be faithful daughters and sons who will come to her aid, and to defend her very existence. We need people in the DENR who will brave the long nights, and ght the good ght for Mother Earth. We need persons with the passion, and the vision for OUR environmental mission.

WE NEED SECRETARY GINA IN THE DENR!