Cause Leader Uses Petition Tool to Fight for the Philippine Eagle
Posted Sep 28, 2012 by Alejandro De La Cruz
The area surrounding Mt. Hilong-Hilong in the Philippines has been designated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as a protected biodiversity area. The Philippine Daily News reported earlier this year that the region boasts one of the last remaining forests in the Philippines and is home to the Philippine Eagle — the second largest bird and the only blue-eyed raptor in the world. Yet, the DENR recently granted permits that allowed a company to run exploratory mining projects in the region that some environmental advocates suggest will lead to the depletion of the forest and the eagle’s natural habit. The news led cause leader Zammerly Zamudio to create a petition on Causes.com asking the DENR and the president of the Philippines to preserve Mt. Hilong-Hilong’s ecological wealth and deny mining permits in the region. 10,000 people signed her petition and she spoke to us last week regarding her next steps.
Zammerly began using Causes a year ago and said this is her first major petition. She told us that environmental issues around the world are important to her, but local impact is where she wants to funnel her energy. “…It would be unacceptable to ignore what’s happening in the Philippines (where I was born), particularly with the high probability of the extinction of the Philippine Eagle and the destruction of the rainforest due to logging, mining and other kinds of extractions. We are all connected, and if a species disappears somewhere in the world, the consequences will not be confined locally. It will surely have a global impact, even if it [is] not immediately felt.”
Zammerly’s petition copy includes the email addresses of three key players at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources because she understands it’s more effective to send direct emails to politicans. “This is to encourage people who signed the petition to be heard directly by the incumbent. This gives the petition…a fast-track result.”
Zammerly is prepared to submit the petition signatures to three different sources. Her ultimate success will be to see mining banned from the region and the status of the Philippine Eagle to reflect a healthy and thriving life in its native habitat. “I will be submitting the signatures to [a] senator, the Philippine Eagle Foundation and the DENR secretary (again), and the President of the Philippines.” She is sending copies of the signatures to the Philippine Eagle Foundation because they’ve been a proponent of Mt. Hilong-Hilong’s preservation for years and she hopes to gain their support in her campaign. Yet, Zammerly knows more petition signatures will push her campaign to new heights. “To be honest, if I can generate 20,000 or ideally over 100,000 then that would surprise me. I am very grateful to those who have supported this cause.”
Visit Zammerly’s petition page to learn more about her campaign and progress, and remember to share your thoughts in the comments section.