It's Time To Damn The Kaliwa Dam
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The Philippines faces worse climate change impacts than any other nation in the world, according to a 2019 report. The island nation is battered by around 20 typhoons every year—and those typhoons are escalating severely along with the climate emergency.
And that’s just one of many reasons local activists are fighting tooth and nail to stop a suicidal dam project being pushed through the permitting process under the brutal presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. The Kaliwa Dam would severely compromise the Sierra Madres, the mountain range on the eastern coast of Luzon, the nation’s largest island. A mountain range, let’s be clear, that saves countless lives by weakening typhoons before they hit the most populous region in the country.
The Kaliwa Dam will also destroy a region of great biodiversity that’s home to many endemic and threatened species—a region that’s so ecologically valuable that it’s protected as a forest and wildlife sanctuary.
And humans call this region home too. Namely Indigenous tribes who have already defeated an early iteration of the Kaliwa Dam, because it will flood their ancestral lands and displace as many as 14,000 households.
The proposed project will be financed through a Chinese investment with onerous terms that will compromise the Filipino people—and if and when it’s completed, the dam will place 100,000 lives at risk from flooding during earthquakes.
Activists on the ground are rising up, and local environmental group the Haribon Foundation has suggested an array of alternative, eco-friendly ways to address the region’s water shortage. Even the Catholic Church has added its voice to the protests. Here’s why it’s time for the coalition rebellion to stand up and damn the Kaliwa Dam:
What’s at stake:
- Human lives: compromising the Sierra Madres will put millions of Filipinos at increased risk from already-deadly typhoons, and the dam itself will pose a door flood risk during earthquakes.
- Biodiversity: the dam will cause irreversible damage to habitats and species in the Sierra Madres, including threatened and endemic species.
- Indigenous communities: the Dumagat-Remontado have ancestral domain claims to the region and have been opposing the dam for more than a decade.
HOW TO TAKE ACTION: FROM HOME
Sign the petition put together by STOP Kaliwa Dam, a coalition of local environmental groups.
The Haribon Foundation has been a leading force in opposing Kaliwa Dam and suggesting eco-friendly alternatives, while also support healthy forests in the Philippines. Support their work here.
EDUCATE YOURSELF AND SPREAD AWARENESS
Follow STOP Kaliwa Dam for updates on the campaign.
Read and share the Haribon Foundation’s report on the impact of the Kaliwa Dam.