International NGOs Alarmed Over JPEPA
Ratification Tremendous Step Back for Environmental Justice
Coalition Press Release
10 October 2008 (Quezon City) – International non-governmental organizations scored the Philippine Senate over the ratification of the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement or JPEPA. In a statement issued by various international NGOs, they stated that they "stand in solidarity with all of Philippine civil society in outrage over the ratification of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement."
The International NGOs raised the alarm over the role JPEPA will play in facilitating trade of toxic wastes from Japan to the Philippines and pointed to the environmental, public health, and human rights crisis that similar bilateral or multilateral free trade agreements – such as the North American Free Trade Agreement – have created.
"In this dark hour for the Philippine environment, we stand in solidarity with the Philippine civil society groups and the 4 brave Senators who opposed JPEPA. It is a tremendous step back in the fight for environmental justice and human rights in the Philippines and in the region," stated Atty. Richard Gutierrez, Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region of the Basel Action Network, one of the NGOs signing the statement.
In the wake of the JPEPA ratification, the international NGOs are calling for the government to:
- Immediately ratify the Basel Ban Amendment which will prohibit Japanese exports of toxic wastes to developing countries such as the Philippines.
- Provide full transparency in all information involving the trade of toxic wastes and other banned and controlled substances from Japan and all Asian countries.
The group also extended their call to all Asian governments engaged in various economic partnership agreements with Japan to seriously embark on programs to prevent hazardous and other wastes at source via toxics use reductions, stopping planned obsolescence, and holding manufacturers accountable for the products they produce.
"Japan has been relentless in its pursuit of finding toxic waste colonies in Asia, and its victory with JPEPA is a testament to that" explained Gutierrez. "We remain hopeful that as long as there are those in the Philippines who continue to fight for the environment, JPEPA's environmental assault will not come to pass."
For more information: See attached statement
Richard Gutierrez, Coordinator, Basel Action Network Asia-Pacific
Mobile: 0917 506 7724; (currently in Nairobi) Mobile: (+254715281222) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Larracas and Gigie Cruz, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
Mobile: + 639166566209 / +639178250802 Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Mobile: +639178715257 Email: email@example.com
Ronnel Lim, Health Care Without Harm
Mobile: + 639189850130 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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