Residents of Homonhon, an island in the central Philippines, are hoping that an endangered species can help them send four nickel-mining companies packing.
To battle the huge ecological impacts of these open-pit mines, Homonhon locals are turning to Philippine environmental law to help them protect rainforests and other landscapes not yet damaged by mining.
Where once they saw the Philippine cockatoo — also known as the abukay or kalangay — as merely a noisy nuisance, or a good pet for the bird cage, they now perceive as a charismatic, and endangered, ally.
Now, three Homonhon villages are cooperating with regional environmental authorities in seeking a designation for the island of “critical habitat” for the bird.
The Philippine cockatoo, as well as several other birds and a couple mammals, all at risk, are found in what remains of the island’s rainforest.
If the central government eventually agrees, then a total mining ban could follow.
Source: The Guardian (U.K.)