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Palawan Council for Sustainable Development: Stop the coal plant near Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary!
  • Petitioned Honorable Governor Abraham Kahlil Mitra

This petition was delivered to:

Chairman, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development
Honorable Governor Abraham Kahlil Mitra

Palawan Council for Sustainable Development: Stop the coal plant near Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary!

    1. Petition by

      Katala Foundation Inc.

  1.  
  2.   
August 2013

Victory

After months of relentless campaigning and two petitions on Change.org calling to stop the planned construction of the coal fired power plant in Narra, Palawan, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) did not endorse the unconditional clearance for the plant. On Friday the PCSD ruled to relocate the coal plant from its proposed site in the coastal barangay of Panacan where hundreds of fisherfolks reside. The proposed site is also right across the Rasa Island Sanctuary – home to the endangered Philippine cockatoo or the katala. The PCSD also required the coal plant to get endorsements from the municipal and provincial councils. Katala Foundation’s Indira Widmann said the entire community is relieved to have averted the project in their vicinity. “It is not just about the Philippine cockatoo. It boils down to the people of Narra, Palawan whose lives will be in danger. Our petition on Change.org provided a venue for Filipinos all over the country to realize that the people of Narra are faced with a very critical issue. It also encouraged the people to speak up and voice out their concerns against the coal plant. This strengthened the community’s stand because in great numbers we were able to shift the decision to our favor. Every signature helped secure the future of the Philippine cockatoos from this threat, as well as the entire community of Panacan,” Widmann said. Widmann added that the overwhelming support they received on both petitions on Change.org made the people of Narra more determined and unafraid to oppose the coal plant. She said many residents religiously attended every PCSD meeting and made sure that the Council will not endorse the plant. Katala Foundation’s petition on Change.org gathered more than 4,000 signatures. The PCSD’s ruling to relocate the coal plant also brings Panacan resident and fisherman Rolando Esperancilla’s petition to victory. His petition, signed by more than 2,400 people, called on the Narra Municipal Council and Palawan Provincial Council not to endorse the coal plant project. His petition had a partial victory last June when the Narra Municipal Council ruled to reject the coal plant. Esperancilla lives barely 300 meters away from the proposed site of the coal plant. “Hindi ko lubos maisip na marami palang tumututol sa coal plant. Kung wala ang suporta ng mga taong pumirma ng aming petisyon sa Change.org, hindi naming makakayanang ituloy-tuloy ang aming protesta at maipanalo ito. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga pumirma. Pinalakas ninyo ang aming loob. Dahil sa inyo, nakarating po ang aming mga hinaing sa mga matataas na opisyal. Masayang masaya kami pero hindi pa tapos ang laban. Kailangan nating siguruhin na malayong malayo na sa Panacan ang relokasyon ng coal plant. Salamat din sa suporta sa amin ng Sangguniang Bayan ng Narra.” Esperancilla said.

Rasa Island in southern Palawan is the last stronghold for the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo, but maybe its days are counted!

DMCI Power Corporation is planning to build a 15 MW coal-fired power plant just opposite of Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary, in Barangay Panacan, Narra Municipality, despite massive protests from affected communities, local and international environmental groups, and the fact that the municipal government does not endorse the proposal. The Palawan Council for Sustainable Development has granted clearance for the project, ignoring its own technical staff’s recommendations, foremost the relocation to a less vulnerable site.

Rasa Island is a protected area of outstanding conservation importance due to the presence of a high number of globally threatened wildlife, among these three species of marine turtles, four bird species and the rare Dugong. Since 1998, Katala Foundation (KFI), implements a comprehensive conservation project on the island and adjacent mainland. The project started with only 23 cockatoos left at that time. Presently, the number of individuals increased to more than 250 on Rasa, due to the intense conservation efforts. This represents at least one quarter of the world population of this species, since only circa 1,000 of this extremely rare parrot survive in the wild.

It is feared that the coal plant would result in cockatoo casualties due to collisions and electrocution at the feeder power lines. Even more seriously, the power plant would block the flight path of the birds’ foraging area from the mainland to the island, which in turn would result in a reduction of the carrying capacity of Rasa Island for this species, since parent birds could not any more provide their young with sufficient food.

Numerous other concerns have been raised over the project. Local residents close-by the proposed project site dread health risks which would arise as an effect of burning coal. The village predominantly generates income from fishing, and thermal pollution from the cooling water outfall would lead to numerous negative effects in the marine ecosystem, notably coral bleaching and likely would result in reduced fish catch. Impurities in coal include heavy metals, like mercury which is known to accumulate in marine food chains and can lead to severe health problems, including to immune, circulatory, digestive and nervous systems. The coal-fired power plant would disproportionally contribute to emissions of greenhouse gases and therefore would contradict efforts within the province to become more climate-friendly. Finally, the economic feasibility of the project has been questioned and initial calculations indicate that a mix of diesel-fired and hydro-plants in the Palawan setting would result in cheaper consumer prices for electricity than coal.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 4,000 signatures
    2. PCSD did it again!

      Haribon is saddened by the controversial decision by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development to issue a Strategic Environmental Plan or SEP clearance to allow the construction of the facility in Narra. This council was created under Republic Act 7611 or the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan Act, a distinct law exclusive to Palawan and intended to protect the environment of the province, which recognized as the country's last biodiversity frontier, under the principles of “sustainable development.” Once again, as in many other cases of government advancing decisions that environmental groups find only too flawed upon scrutiny, including the recent Executive Order 79 on mining, it appears that other considerations instead of sustainable development dominated the council's decision-making interests.

      Haribon Statement on Planned Coal Power Plant in Palawan

      Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, Inc. is a membership organization committed to nature conservation through community empowerment and scientific excellence. The name "Haribon" was coined from "Haring Ibon" or the Philippine Eagle, the existence of which is the perfect barometer of the state of the Philippine forests.

    3. Haribon's Statement on DMCI coal plant near Rasa Island:

      Haribon Statement on Planned Coal Power Plant in Palawan

      Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, Inc. is a membership organization committed to nature conservation through community empowerment and scientific excellence. The name "Haribon" was coined from "Haring Ibon" or the Philippine Eagle, the existence of which is the perfect barometer of the state of the Philippine forests.

    4. Reached 3,000 signatures
    5. By HARIBON/ Manilatimes.net April 6, 2013

      Negative effects of a coal power plant in Palawan

      Negative effects of a coal power plant in Palawan Published on 06 April 2013 Hits: 581 Written by Haribon Foundation Haribon, the Philippines' pioneer environmental organization working at the forefront of biodiversity conservation, supports a growing clamor from several concerned individuals and groups.

    6. From Inquirer.net, April 13, 2013.... Be counted, let's keep on fighting!

      Proposed coal plant in Palawan may doom 'Katala' conservation efforts

      MANILA, Philippines - A proposed coal power plant in Palawan could spell the end for more than a decade of intense conservation efforts for the critically endangered and endemic Philippine Cockatoo, locally known as the Katala, that number only around 1,000 worldwide.

    7. Mongabay.com April 3, 2013

      Here's the article on the coal plant and the Philippine cockatoo (among other issues): http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0402-hance-philippine-cockatoo-coal.html

      Proposed coal plant threatens Critically Endangered Philippine cockatoo

      One kilometer off the Philippine island of Palawan lays the Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary; here forest grows unimpeded from a coral island surrounded by mangroves and coral reefs.

    8. An interesting article on Malaya today, April 1, 2013

      Malaya Business News Online - Philippine Business News | Online News Philippines - Why not Wind and Solar for Palawan?

      Malaya Business Insight News Online is one of the top online newspapers based in the Philippines that provides in-depth analysis of news andbusiness reports. The Online news and business contents are opinionated and come from reliable sources.

    9. Reached 2,500 signatures
    10. Article from Interaksyon.com March 18, 2013

      DMCI-proposed coal plant in Palawan a 'threat' to endangered cockatoo - PAMB - InterAksyon.com

      InterAksyon.com The online news portal of TV5 PUERTO PRINCESA CITY - The coal-fired power plant planned adjacent to the Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary can "directly and indirectly" threaten the survival of the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo (locally known as katala), the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) said.

    11. Reached 1,500 signatures
    12. Here an article dated 06 March 13 from GMA Newsonline

      Palawan power plant may push endangered Philippine Cockatoo to extinction

      Is electrocuting a Philippine cockatoo, locally known as the Katala, the price Palawenos are willing to pay for charging their mobile phones and laptops? It's that trade-off non-governmental organization Katala Foundation Inc. (KFI) worries about if a proposed 15-megawatt coal-fired power plant were to be built in the coastal barangay of Panacan in Narra, Palawan.

    13. Reached 250 signatures
    14. Decision-maker Honorable Governor Abraham Kahlil Mitra responds:

      Honorable Governor Abraham Kahlil Mitra

      The population of the Cockatoos in Rasa Island should be protected. They are Critically endangered species. There are so many reasons to conserve them. Don't wait until we only see them in the pictures just because of one wrong decision.


    15. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Emma Makin MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 months ago

      I would like to contribute to a better future

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Michael Ormond LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      Not only are they encouraging the use of environmentally damaging fossil fuels but they are also increasing the extinction of a species that are already endangered.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mike Dearden SAINT HELENS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      There are so many other ways to produce energy, coal is destroying the Earth and in this case the hilippine Cockatoo. It has to be stopped.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Alvin Goloran BUTUAN CITY, PHILIPPINES
      • 7 months ago

      for cockatoos family!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Stacey Watt GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      Conserving animals is more important to me.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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