PH remains Asia’s deadliest place to defend environment
PH remains Asia’s deadliest place to defend environment
PH remains Asia’s deadliest place to defend environment
by Daylight Abas13 September 2023
Photo courtesy: Public Radio International

Rights watchdog Global Witness reported that for 10 straight years, the Philippines has been continuously hailed as Asia’s deadliest place for environmental defenders since 2012, with at least 11 of the lethal attacks taking place in the country last year.

This has alarmed campaigners, who are concerned that the present administration's support for mining and infrastructure projects will compound the threats to their lives.

In 2022, the Philippines was placed fifth as the most dangerous country for environmentalists, while Colombia topped the rankings with 60 killings, Brazil with 34, Mexico with 31, and Honduras with 14, respectively.

Although last year’s figure was lower than the 19 environmentalists who were killed in the Philippines in 2021, the country remained the deadliest place in Asia for land activists since 2012, when Global Witness started its yearly monitoring of environmental homicides.

In the past 10 years, a record of at least 281 land defenders have been killed in the country, making it consistent with being the deadliest country for environmental defenders when a total of 34 deaths were recorded in 2018.

According to the London-based watchdog in its 2021 report, 80% of the killings in the Philippines were connected to defenders protesting company operations, while the other third of the deaths were connected to the mining industry and the agribusiness sector.

This month, two environmentalists have been reported abducted, and the progressive groups allege that the police and military were involved, which the forces have denied.

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