Negative Effects of Mining in Palawan

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Thesis Statement: The continuous mining in Palawan will cause degradation of the soil, denuding of the forests and extinction of animal and plant species thus lowering its’ biodiversity. Biological diversity, or biodiversity, encompasses the variety and abundance of plants, animals, and microorganisms as well as the ecosystems and ecological processes to which they belong. (Braatz, 1992) The word came from the Latin “bios” which means life and “diversitas” which means variety or differences which therefore means variety of life. (Catibog-Sinha, C., Heaney, L. 2006) Biodiversity plays a large role on what the society is possessing today. Its’ significance can be divided into two main aspects: the economic benefits and the services it gives to humanities. The most politically appealing and economically attractive argument in favour of maintaining biodiversity is that it provides enormous direct economic benefits in the form of food, medicines, industrial raw materials and has the potential for generating many more. (Ehrlich and Wilson, 1991; McNeely, 1988 as cited in Braatz, 1992) In addition to this, there are three main factors of biodiversity loss and these are the continuous changing of land use, the ongoing expansion, emergence and integration of markets and states, and the movement of species into the areas inhabited by others. (Konteleon, A., Pascual, U., Swanson, T., 2007) In an article in the Philippine Star newspaper, it was said that “The Philippines ranks fifth globally in the number of plant species, and it hosts about 5% of the world’s flora.” (Paje, R., 2012) The Philippines has been named one of the world’s “megadiverse” countries, and it has been ranked one of the countries with the highest rates of discovery in the world. (Yap, D., 2012) Also, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has revealed that more than 270 wildlife species endemic to the Philippines have been found in the past 25 years. In a statement given by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje (2012) “These discoveries of sorts are a testament that the Philippines is richly endowed with unique biodiversity that only underscores the need for stepped up protection. These endemic species are our living jewels. They are irreplaceable and unique components of our awesome environmental heritage.” (Villanueva, R. 2012) Fortunately, there is a province here in the Philippines that is so much blessed in biological diversity. This province is referred to as the “Last Ecological Frontier” of the country due to the number of endangered species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles that are found only in this province. Thus, the name Palawan enters. Palawan is the largest province in the country with an area of 1,489,655 hectares or equivalent to 5% of the country’s local territory. It comprises of the following biodiversity: 15 lakes, 42 ponds, 44 waterfalls, 72 natural springs, 9 mineral springs, 28 principal rivers, 43 streams and 165 creeks identified as potential sources of water for domestic consumption and irrigation, 690,000 hectares of terrestrial forest, 42,500 hectares of mangrove forests- having 31 species and 90% of the known mangrove species in the country, 8 of the 11 amphibians endemic to the Philippines, 279 species of birds- 27 are endemic, 15 out of 25 marine mammals, 58 species of terrestrial mammals- 19 endemic to the country and 16 are restricted to Mantalingahan Mountain Range, 24 endemic reptiles and 69 species found in the corridor, 4 of the 5marine turtles and 379 species of corals and 82% of the total coral species recorded in the country. Aside from having the title of the “Last Ecological Frontier”, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it as a “Man and Biosphere Reserve” because of its’ uniqueness like having a vast land area and topography which is divided by tall mountain ranges such as Mt. Mantalingahan, Mt. Gantung in the southern part and Cleopatra’s Needle in the...
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