Philippines environment secretary, Regina Lopez, last week cancelled one third of new mining contracts on environmental grounds. She also rejected calls to reverse her earlier decision to close 23 of the existing 41 mines in the Philippines on the grounds they are polluting drinking water. “You kill the watershed, you kill life” she told media last week. Despite the threat of legal action from international business, the environment secretary has the full backing of President Duterte. This is the second time he has publicly supported her actions since appointing her last June.
Philippine Environment Minister Continues Mining Crackdown
The Philippines’ environment minister stepped up a crackdown on mining on Tuesday, cancelling almost a third of the country’s contracts for undeveloped mines and rejecting any challenges to earlier orders to shut more than half of all operating pits.