Marking Monday, June 5, 2023, as World Environment Day, we joined fisherfolk group Pamalakaya and environmental activists in calling for an end to nationwide reclamation projects destroying critical coastal ecosystems.

We would like to highlight the massive displacement of fisherfolk communities due to ongoing dredging and reclamation projects and the repercussions on the natural environment, as well as the effects of destroying fishing grounds on national food security.

Reclamation is one of the major threats to Philippine food security.

By destroying the marine environment where our fishers make their catches, you not only destroy the livelihood of the poorest sector in the Philippines but also a significant food source for the entire country. Most of the fish that we eat still comes from small fisherfolk.

The destruction of our fishing grounds is another excuse to bloat massive importation, a trend that is worsening under the Marcos administration.

We supported the fishers and environmental groups in holding the 3rd National People’s Summit against Reclamation last June 3-4, 2023 in the National Capital Region. The summit provided a venue for fisherfolk and environmentalists to voice their concerns and demands over the immediate and long-term effects of reclamation.

According to Pamalakaya, there are 187 ongoing reclamation projects across the country, spanning 25,000 hectares of fishing waters. Thirty of these projects are located in Manila Bay.

We must also raise the alarm over the environmental impacts of reclamation, especially now that we are facing the climate crisis and rising sea levels.

The global food crisis will only continue to get worse under climate change.

This is the time to urgently protect our food sources -- our fishing grounds and our agricultural lands. Instead, corporations and government compradors profit from their destruction. By Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano