Experts: Declare protected areas ‘off-limits’ to mining

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu last Monday vowed to uphold at least one policy pronouncement made by his predecessor, Regina Paz L. Lopez—declaring watersheds “off-limits” to mining operations.

Watersheds are home to a diverse species of plants and animals, including those that are considered as site-endemic or unique to the Philippines—some of which are situated within protected areas (PAs) under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (Nipas) Act.

“Definitely, there will be no mining in watersheds,” Cimatu said during a news conference last Monday, where he again reiterated his commitment to promote responsible mining in line with President Duterte’s policy pronouncements.

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