Category Archives: prior and informed consent

Casiguran farmers, fisherfolks, and indigenous people’s plea: stop APECO

Ka Tony

Ka Tony Barbosa, a fisherfolk participant during the workshop on “Increase the use of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGT) among CSOs and Grassroots Organizations in the Philippines,” was in tears as he shared how their livelihood will be lost upon construction of port along the foreshore of Casiguran, Aurora. Even now, they can no longer use the docks they used to anchor their boats for fishing. Industrial wastes would also pollute the waters sheltering the fishes they catch.

Farmers and indigenous peoples of the Casiguran are also in the same dismal situation as their lands will soon be converted to industrial parks, airport, hotels, ship anchorages, and recreational facilities through the implementation of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO).

APECO is an abruptly approved Php 1-Billion project created by law allegedly lobbied secretly by the ruling political family in Aurora. It covers more than 13,000 hectares of rice lands, coconut plantations, forests, coastal areas, and human settlements in five barangays of Casiguran.

While APECO violates basic sectors rights to access to land, food, livelihood, and health, it is also in conflict with some provisions of the Constitution and policies governing indigenous people (according to a case study by Dave de Vera of PAFID).

These sectors call for the non-implementation of the APECO project. “We don’t want the jobs they offer. We need our lands and livelihoods secured.”

Related resource:

Tribes of Odisha, India protested against Forest Rights Act (FRA) amendment

We are sharing this news from The New Indian Express posted last 16 November.

Tribes from different parts of the Indian State of Odisha protested in the city of Bhubaneswar against the amendment of the Forest Rights Act (FRA). Protesters said that such amendment would affect their rights on free, prior and informed consent over proposed industrial projects on forest lands.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), ironically, proposed changes for the FRA. Moreover, the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prevention) Ordinance, 2014, is said to have conflicting provisions against the landless tribes.

Following the protest, a memorandum on protection of the rights and lands of tribes was submitted to the Chief Minister’s Office.