The Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) is organized and registered as a non-stock, non-profit, non-partisan, cultural, scientific and research organization. Established on December 7, 1987, it started actual operations in February 1988.
LRC is the Philippines chapter of Friends of the Earth.
LRC works for the recognition and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples and upland rural poor communities to land and environment. The Center seeks to bridge the gap between the informal articulation of the aspirations of these marginalized communities on the one hand, and the formal, technical, bureaucratic and legal language used by the state, on the other.
To accomplish its goals, LRC maintains the following programs: (1) Research and Policy Development, (2) Direct Legal Services, and (3) Advocacy and Campaigns Support.
The LRC was founded in 1987 by now Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, Atty. Tony Laviña, Atty. Nonette Royo, and Atty. Gus Gatmaytan. They started LRC around the time of the EDSA People Power Movement.
LRC's areas of work and campaigns have included indigenous peoples‘ rights; rights to land and natural resources of indigenous peoples and upland rural poor directly dependent on the land and natural resources; human rights; natural resources, including water, forest, and energy; and climate change. LRC was instrumental in the crafting and defense of the constitutionality of the Indigenous Peoples‘ Rights Act of 1997 (IPRA). It was the legal counsel for marginalized and poor communities, and campaigned for the repeal of the Mining Act of 1995.
Recent national campaigns include the push for an Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), and petitions questioning the Mining Act of 1995 again for its unjust, inequitable, and unconstitutional provisions on government and people’s share of the proceeds. LRC became a member of Friends of the Earth International in the early 1990s.
LRC envisions a society where the rights of marginalized indigenous peoples and upland rural poor communities, including women, are respected, recognized, and upheld. We aspire for a society where the ownership, use, management, and conservation of our natural resources are carried out in a democratic, ecologically sustainable, culturally appropriate, economically viable, gender just, and equitable manner.
Through Strategic Progressive Legal Intervention or policy-determining litigation, research and policy development and advocacy, LRC partners with marginalized indigenous and upland rural poor communities for the respect, protection, and promotion of their rights to land and other natural resources, towards a democratic, just, and peaceful society. Across its work, LRC strives to include and respond to the differentiated needs and aspirations of indigenous and rural women. LRC believes that social transformation is incomplete without the transformation of the status and condition of women.