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Community-led Documentation and Scientific Investigation.

Organization Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
Name Rivera, Bibiano C., Jr.
URL http://www.climatejustice.ph
Grant US$4900

Community based scientific research(water testing).

Community based scientific research(water testing).

Research Background

One of PMCJ's tactical fights and focus for year 2017 is the strengthening of its campaign to raise health and environmental standards in order to reclassify coal and its waste as toxic and hazardous. For many years, we have been in constant collaboration with coal-affected communities, which has helped us develop and enhance our national campaign against coal and dirty energy. In addition to their struggle stories and testimonies, we desire to support these narratives with empirical and scientific evidences. To achieve this goal, it would be helpful for our chapters and local community leaders to be equipped with sufficient knowledge on how they can take the lead in the gathering of these data.

Scientific studies done in many different settings outside the Philippines show that coalfired power plant operations have high potential to harm surrounding bodies of water,land and air by contaminating them with heavy metals, pollutants and other toxic materials, which are proven to be harmful to human's health. These greatly affect the host communities' way of living, as majority of these communities are highly dependent on the resources found in their surroundings for their livelihood. The same may hold true in the context of the Philippines where a number of coal mining and coal power plants are operating and yet to be established. Japanese financial institutions play a significant role in the development of the said projects. By giving the local residents and community organizations training on water sampling and testing, air quality monitoring and proper documentation of observations and evidences, they will not only be aware of the harmful impacts of coal mining and coal power plants, but their findings may also aid future studies, and may influence policymaking such as Clear Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Toxic and Hazardous Waste Act, policies related to environmental impact statement system and others.

This research, a collaborative effort of PMCJ, Waterkeeper Alliance, Health Care Without Harm and Greenpeace Philippines, will be conducted for two months in Mindanao, with target participants of 20 community leader-paralegals from our Sites of Struggles (SOS) in the said region. The training module and basic equipment for the water testing are already provided by Waterkeeper Alliance. The air quality monitoring devices are from PMCJ while documentation capability part will be primarily taken care of by Health Care Without Harm. The participants will be taught how to measure basic water parameters, collect water samples for laboratory testing, use and maintenance of air quality monitoring devices and regular, accurate and proper documentation.
[Sep. 2017]

Final Report (abstract)