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  • Legal Rights Center

Concert calls for a just minerals transition

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Kung atin lang ang mundo—if only this world were ours, if only it were up to us, we'd have a kinder, greener world.


On 10 December 2023, students, scientists, community leaders, and various youth-led oganizations trooped to the UP Hotel for "Kung Atin Lang Ang Mundo Concert-Fair."


Celebrating Human Rights Day, the event amplified calls for the right to a clean, healthy environment, now one of the universal human rights. Mining, an environmentally destructive activity, is one of the biggest threats to nature and communities, especially in relation to the production of renewable energy technologies.



"The world is really ours. We must reclaim it from structures of oppression which endanger the environment and violate people's rights," said Mai Taqueban, executive director of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC), as she officially opened the event.


Mai Taqueban.


The event was the culminating activity of a year-long campaign for a just minerals transition, or finding a way to conserve the environment while balancing the need for minerals for the energy transition. A just transition compels global North countries to look into their patterns of consumption and production, which are driving both climate and ecological crises. (Read LRC's paper on just minerals transtion here.)


"Renewable energy technologies for solar and wind power generation will require more mining. But this does not mean mineral-rich countries like the Philippines will just open up our lands for the transition. We need strong environmental and social safeguards to ensure a just minerals transition. If this world were ours, we'd stop destroying it. We can take the cue from indigenous peoples, who care for and treat nature as an extension of their families," said Maya Quirino, national coordinator of the SOS Yamang Bayan Network.


The principles of a just minerals transition are woven into the Alternative Minerals Management Bill (AMMB), a proposed measure filed in the Senate and the House of Representatives.


AMMB prioritizes transition minerals for the country's domestic energy transition, puts decision-making in the hands of communities, increases excise taxes on mining, and designates key environmental areas as "no-go" mining zones. Sign the petition to pass the AMMB here.

Maya Quirino.

Various artists performed at the concert to help drum up support for these calls.


Opening the concert was the Talahib People's Music,



which brought the crowd to their feet, dancing to the enticing beats of the Filipino world music rock band.



Rising indie sensation The Ridleys headlined the concert.



A throng of young people swarmed to the front of the stage as the band played their original compositions.



Bayang Barrios at Ang Naliyagan as usual delivered a rousing performance for the environment.



Bands ACT! and Soulful drew cheers from the audience.


ACT!


Soulful.


Rock band Jerry Something got everyone in a good mood with a mezmerizing blues set.



Drag performer Maria Christina brought the house down as she lip-synced to the iconic environmental song "Paraiso" by the Smokey Mountain.



Partner non-governmental organizations set up booths to house their advocacies or sell community products.


Lilak Purple Action for Indigenous Women's Rights.


The Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center.


Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan.


Non-Timber Forest Products - Exchange Program Philippines.


Philippine Miserior Partnership, Inc.


Ulirat Collective.


The concert-fair was a project of the SOS Yamang Bayan Network, an alliance of multi-sectoral organizations pushing for the passage of the AMMB, which is convened by LRC.


The event was mounted together with Ulirat Collective and the Human Rights and People Empowerment Center.


Partner organizations included UP JPGS, Countermapping Network PH, Imagine QC, UP Fair: REV Music Festival, Angat Asenso Kabataan, SCYTAG, FourThirteens, Greenpeace, and Faraway Youth Organization.


Thank you to all those who came and made the event a success!


LRC staff with Maria Christina.


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