State of Nature Assessment 2020 Resolutions

State of Nature Assessment 2020 Resolutions

Krisis: COVID at Kalikasan
August 21, 2020


Whereas the Philippines is a country gifted with rich natural resources considered as among the most remarkable in the world and has unique topographies teeming with biodiversity;

Whereas the rich geographical ecosystems of the Philippines provide ecological services to the people and protect them and other life forms from the impact of climate change;

Whereas our country’s characteristic of being mountainous mitigates impacts of stronger typhoons brought about by climate change;

Whereas the world, the Philippines not exempted, is now challenged with COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed lives and drastically affected economy due to the imposition of needed lockdowns and community quarantine to prevent community transmission of the disease;

Whereas the use of disposable protective gadgets such as face masks, face shields, personal protective equipment (PPE) have been mandated as precautionary measures to manage community transmission of COVID-19;

Whereas municipal and medical wastes are increasing due to the disposal of protective gadgets against COVID-19;

Whereas the increasing volume of waste generated, consequently increased disposal fees, thereby diverting hospital budget to address COVID-19;

Whereas healthcare facilities have existing protocols that have been proven effective in the management and disposal of infectious waste way before COVID-19;

Whereas waste collectors, as frontliners, need provision for hazard pay and guaranteed availment of regular employee benefits, considering their work exposure in the disposal of infectious waste;

Whereas talks in Congress have been ongoing to use incineration to address the mounting volume of infectious waste;

Whereas RA 8749 or The Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 bans incineration due to the emission of dioxin and other toxic substances that pose hazards to health and ecosystems;

Whereas RA 8749 mandates instead the use of non-burn technologies to address infectious waste;

Whereas mining projects that were suspended or cancelled by then Secretary Gina Lopez due to environmental violations or non-compliance with contractual obligations, are now recommended to be re-opened as part of the economic recovery/stimulus program in response to COVID19;

Whereas the impact of mining on the environment and human lives has been proven to be devastating and threatens our geographic ecosystems, biodiversity and watersheds that protect us from the impact of climate change and provide good quality of life for all;

Whereas a better normal must be conceptualized to ensure the health of people, other creatures, and that of our ecosystems, to bring about an ecological sustainable environment for present and future generations to enjoy;


We, the participants of the 2020 State of Nature Assessment with the theme, “Krisis: COVID at Kalikasan” held this August 21, 2020 via Zoom, call on the government to:

CRITICALLY evaluate and RE-THINK the re-activation of mining sites all over the country;

REJECT the idea that mining and river-dredging are stimulus activities for economic recovery amid COVID-19;

BAN open-pit mining as promised by President Duterte since 2016;

ENACT the Green Bills pending in Congress including new laws on Minerals Management, Sustainable Forest, National Land Use, Indigenous Conservation Areas, Freedom of Information and Defending Human Rights Defenders;

STOP any plan to legalize the use of incineration;

PROMOTE instead zero waste lifestyle;

BAN single-use plastics and OPT for reusable and washable PPEs;

ENFORCE the ban on incineration found in Section 20 of RA 8749 or Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and instead MANDATE the use of non-burn technologies to address and manage infectious waste;

CREATE a comprehensive database on best practices in treating special wastes with the use of non-burn technologies;

EMPOWER and ASSIST the health care industry and people to practice and promote ecological solid waste management through strict compliance of segregation at source, and environmentally-friendly management of infectious waste;

MANDATE hazard pay and regular employee benefits (SSS, Philhealth, Pag-ibig) to waste collectors of infectious waste;

PROVIDE people-centered, environment-friendly and country-based programs and solutions to address COVID-19;

For our part as members of civil society, we resolve to:

ENSURE that natural environment is not compromised and human lives not endangered;

SUPPORT local government units that oppose mining;

OPPOSE the implementation of environmentally destructive projects such as the use of incineration and continued operations of large-scale mining, and other environmentally destructive projects;

LOBBY for the government to adopt an ecological paradigm in conceptualizing a  “Better  Normal” plan to ensure that similar occurrences of this pandemic are avoided or managed properly ensuring no additional health hazards to people and the environment;

PROMOTE Laudato Si as blue print for moving forward to a better normal;

RAISE AWARENESS among the people especially the youth, for them to become champions of ecological sustainable development;

PROMOTE behavioral change and create a culture that promotes care for the environment;

UNITE to protect the environment and SYNERGIZE our actions that are socially inclusive, economically sustainable, and environmentally beneficial; and lastly,

AFFIRM God’s gift of life and UPHOLD the integrity of creation.


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