Pro-environment group blames deforestation, mining for flooding in Mindanao 

January 22, 2024

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (PNE) on Monday blamed “rampant deforestation and mining operations” for flooding and landslides that have hit Mindanao in recent weeks. 

The group said the environmentally destructive activities “have significantly intensified the impact of the shear line” that brought scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in the southern Philippines.

“By stripping away land cover and disrupting natural drainage patterns, these activities exacerbate flooding and landslide risks,” the group said in a statement. 

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Jan. 22, at least 152,642 families have been affected by the impacts of the shear line in Regions XI and Caraga. 

The Council reported at least 16 deaths and a total of 32, 116 displaced people due to flooding in 173 areas. 

Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator of Kalikasan PNE, said mining corporations “must be held accountable for their role in further damaging Mindanao’s ecosystems,” adding that the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “must face consequences for enabling” the entry of extractive industries.

“Marcos Jr.’s continued inaction towards resolving climate disasters like this shear line is a stark betrayal of his supposed commitment to environmental protection,” said Bonifacio.

Bonifacio urged the national government to implement “immediate and effective disaster response measures”. He also called for “a long-term strategy to address the root causes of climate vulnerability”. 

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