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February 13, 2009
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In a continuing effort to empower indigenous peoples' organizations assert their collective rights to ancestral domain and self determination, the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) launched a two-day conference on mining education from February 13 to 14 in Baguio City with representatives of people's organizations from all over the Cordillera.

Large mining remains an urgent concern in the region even with the effect of the global mining crisis to the world mining industry. Through updates on trends, issues on the mining situation, on including laws affecting indigenous peoples and their rights to resources, they can further strengthen their actions to assert their collective rights, said Santos Mero, CPA Deputy Secretary General.

The conference consisted of inputs on basic mining, on large scale mining, traditional small-scale mining as an alternative to destructive mining, Philippine mining history and the present mining conditions in the country. Experiences were shared on local struggles against destructive mines in the region, with emphasis to the violation of indigenous communities' right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). Early on last year, the CPA reported of the FPIC violation of Canadian mining company Olympus to the Binongan indigenous peoples in Baay Licuan, Abra. In December 2008, it also reported on the FPIC violation of Australian mining company Royalco to the Kankanaey indigenous peoples of Gambang, Bakun, Benguet. Action Alerts were issued up to the international community on the same cases.

Participants included representatives from Mankayan-Quirino-Tadian-Cervantes Danggayan a Gunglo (MAQUITACDG), Tignayan dagiti Mannalon ti Kalinga (TMK), Save Apayao People's Organization (SAPO), Itogon Inter Barangay Alliance, among others. # CPA Public Information Commission


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