Perlas recalls Arroyo's shocking statement in 2001 to the multisectoral group created under the Ramos administration to ensure that development did not damage the environment., "She said she thought the pursuit of sustainable development was anti-poor."
Perlas, a recipient of the United Nations’ Earth Warrior Award who has announced plans to run for president next year, said he thought Ms Arroyo was giving priority to antipoverty initiatives over ecological balance.
The President’s statement shocked civil society leaders and was a portent of things to come, said Perlas, who actively participated in the Edsa II people power revolt that catapulted Ms. Arroyo to power in 2001.
"Obviously, she was misinformed because the environment is the source of life, clean air, natural resources. It was like she was in a time-warp," said Perlas, who has resigned from the council.
The Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) had been put into hibernation since then but it was recently revived under the administration of NEDA Secretary Ralph Recto. The revival in fact counter the presidents claim that Sustainable Development is anti-poverty.
"The whole point of the (UN) Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro was to show that there was no conflict between the environment and development. We had a global consensus there and yet there she was saying these things 10 years after," he said.
"The deterioration of the environment in almost every aspect could be traced to that statement eight years ago," Perlas said.
Ms Arroyo’s record on logging and mining was the worst since the dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ ouster in 1986, according to Perlas and other green advocates.
VIEW FULL ARTICLE IN PDI "Environment suffered badly, say critics"
Here is the INTERESTING REPLY of Director Horacio Ramos, head of the DENR-Mining and Geosciences Bureau
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