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ENVIRONMENT: Philippines: “deadliest country” for environmental activists

The Philippines has been named the “deadliest country” in Asia for defenders of the environment and, for four consecutive years, remains one of the deadliest countries in the world.

“Defenders of the Earth,” a report released last July by the London-based group Global Witness, noted that at least 28 pro-environment activists were killed in the Philippines in 2016. Leon Dulce, campaign coordinator of Manila’s Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, said he expects the trend “to worsen in 2017.”

Dulce noted that despite the change in the country’s political leaders last year, there is “no fundamental change in the country’s environmental policies.” Kalikasan, the local partner organization of Global Witness, has already monitored 10 cases of “environment-related killings” during the first half of this year.

The report declared 2016 as the “deadliest year for environment and land defenders” with at least 200 people killed every week across the globe. Mining was clearly the bloodiest trade, with at least 33 murders linked to the sector, according to the report. Killings linked to logging companies increased from 15 to 23 incidents in one year, while there were 23 killings connected to agribusiness projects.

Almost 40 percent of those killed were tribal people, with police and soldiers as suspected perpetrators in at least 43 murders.  Ucanews

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