Twitter users all over the world are monitoring updates from the Philippines, where the US-backed “Anti-Rio Tinto Two” initiative is attempting to save rainforests in the country’s Pinar del Rio province.
More than 1,200 journalists, aid organizations, government officials and corporations are joining the effort, and it is expected to raise more than $2 million for anti-mining efforts.
So far, the air drops have saved some 1,200 hectares from degradation of the forest, but deforestation remains a major problem, as business demands that miners find “pay” ways to pay the lowest possible price for the land.
“Rainforests are owned and operated in partnership with the government, and environmental impacts can’t be ignored,” said Jay Logan, International Energy Agency’s representative in the Philippines. “If all we can do is save a few, we’re not doing our job.”
As of June 8, “anti-mining” planes were carrying a total of 126,000 pounds of material, enough to maintain healthy forest for another month, according to the Philippine Environment and Natural Resources Agency. The program is estimated to be costing US$400,000 a month.
Under the Rainforest Revitalization Act of 2007, the government is authorized to extract timber and mining material from national parks, protected areas and other protected locations.