DANUM: Defending Water, Defending Life

When? 8am CEST Thursday 28 June 2022

Where? Link for Registration to follow

This panel forms part of the School for Water Defenders

Danum is the local word for water in the northern part of the island of Luzon
and for this webinar, Danum also represents the active defense of the people
to its water, people’s rights, and the environment. “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water,” says W.H. Auden, a British-American poet. And true enough, for without water, life in general, such as animals, plants, or humanity cannot exist. But threats and challenges to water and people’s rights are now widespread globally. And the people in the central plains of Luzon, Philippines are not spared of the concrete predicaments and issues in relation to water, people’s rights, and the environment.

The central plains of Luzon is a land locked area north of the national capital region. While the Central Luzon region only pertains to Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, and Bulacan, we have to include the Pangasinan province, when we talk of the the central ‘plains’ of Luzon. It occupies the largest contiguous plains in Luzon and hailed as the nation’s rice granary. Its rich agricultural land are blessed with spring waters, streams, rivers, and river tributaries. Bordering around the region are the mountain ranges of Zambales, that stretches to parts of Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pampanga, and Bataan; parts of Caraballo mountains, which connects the province of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya; and parts of Sierra Madre, that stretches in the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Aurora. To the south we have the waters of Manila Bay; to the northwest we have the waters of the controversial West Philippine Sea; and to the east we have the Pacific Ocean.

The region is home to national minorities like the Aeta in Zambales mountain ranges in the Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, and Bataan; and the Dumagat, Ilonggot, and Agta in parts of Sierra Madre in Bulacan and Aurora. It is also home to fisherfolks, and peasant farmers, workers, and urban poor communities. These very same communities faces the daily threat and attack to water, people’s rights, and the environment. Globally, and for the people of the central plains of Luzon—water is life. Defending water, is defending life. As such, an online panel discussion of water and people’s rights defenders across the region laying out various challenges to water, people’s rights, and the environment is but timely.

Pia Montalban, Co-convenor KAMANDAG

Bobby Roldan, VP Luzon Pamalakaya Pamalakaya CL People’s Organization of Fisherfolks

Maningning Vilog, Co-Convenor, KAMANDAG

AKAP-KA Manila Bay – Bulacan (TBC)

Eco Dangla, Co-Convenor, Pangasinan People’s Strike for the Environment

Philip Camara, Environmentalist, People’s Rights Defender

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