A megadiversecountry known as the Philippines is manifested to carry a large scale upon its biodiversityor variability of life existing on earth, and that comprises a variety of species,ecosystems and genetic resources. Groups of islands forming the Philippinearchipelago are presumed to bear vast land forms and animal endemism. Accordingto Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities (2002), beyond 52,177species are identified in which more than a half of the hosted species existfrom anonymous areas of the locality. Concurrently, due to the alarming rate ofdevastation among the significant resources, the Philippines is likewise deemedas a “biodiversity hotspot.
” Mainly, the devastation of the PhilippineBiodiversity is brought about by overexploitation or overharvesting, deforestation,land degradation, climate change, and pollution participatively caused by humanactivities. In another research, study shows how mining takes part in thegradual loss of the biodiversity. Mining has become an occupation in thePhilippines and across all nations. There are numerous mining industries whichcurrently emerge. Unknowingly to the humanity, mining leads to adverse effectson the biodiversity that Filipinos used to nurture and treasure.
Mining is classifiedinto two major categories known as the small scale mining and large scalemining. Upon the research, the emergence of deforestation is mainly caused by alarge scale mining that leads to extreme degradation of biodiversityparticularly the terrestrial organisms (Butler, 2017). Large scale mining is often a typeof mining controlled by a company consisting a large quantity of employees. Primarily,the process requires deforestation in order to execute the company’s desire ofextracting valuable minerals nor metals from the earth (Algee, 2013). This thenbecomes an issue as deforestation is one way of destructing the biodiversityspecifically the terrestrial organisms who depend on the trees as their habitatand source of food. According to the National Geographic Society (2017), 80% ofthe Earth’s terrestrial organisms live in forests, and many of them wouldn’tsurvive without having their respective homes or habitats.
The repercussions ofdeforestation do not merely settle on the terrestrial organisms being homelessbut leads to more consequences. Deforestation, as caused by large scale mining,drives climate change. This occurs when the extracted fossil fuels from theground are utilized in generating mining machineries. As fossil fuels are beingburnt, greenhouse gases are then released into the air contributing to theoccurrence of climate change (Vessel, 2016). In addition, most mines yieldmethane as a waste product. Methane is a relatively potent greenhouse gas thateven a tiny amount of it can steadily aggravate climate change.
These mines aretypically coal mines which make up an approximately 6% of the methane dischargedby means of the human’s activities (Vessel, 2016).As thisclimate change continues, terrestrial organisms who inhabit a dwelling willgradually fall into extinction. Subsequently, after the forest is completelybare, the ground becomes or excavation. In a large scale mining, colossalbulldozers and excavators are operated to extract the metals and mineralswithin the soil. The extractions are amalgamated through the use of chemicalsincluding cyanide, mercury, or methylmercury. These chemicals traverse throughtailings to the rivers, streams or other bodies of water leaving them polluted(Algee, 2013). This leads towards the extinction of aquatic organisms just ashow the terrestrial organisms succumb to mining.
The impact of large scale mining onterrestrial biodiversity or organisms is under many researches either global orlocal researches. A global study in Brazil shows how mining drives extensive deforestationin the Brazilian Amazon. The study quantifies mining-induced deforestation, andinvestigates the aspect of mining operations which contribute. The conduct ofthe study finds out how mining significantly increases Amazon forest loss whichtakes up to 70 km exceeding mining lease bounndaries. This results a 11, 670km2 of deforestation between 2005 and 2015. This extent delineates 9% of allAmazon forest loss in the recent time and 12 times greater deforestation than emergedwith mining leases alone. The study has assessed the pathways that lead to suchimpacts which comprise mining infrastructure establishmment, urban expansionsustaining a developing workforce, and expansion of mineral commodity supplychains.
It is deduced how mining-induced deforestation leads to adverse effectson terrestrial biodiversity such as the Amazon forest. In mitigating theeffects of mining and preserving tropical forest globally, environmentalassessments and licensing should be taken into account both on on- and off-lease sources of deforestation (Sonter, Laura et al. 2017). Largescale mining that leads to the extinction of terrestrial organisms isapplicable in many places along the Philippines. There has been numerousprojects being proposed by mining companies.
The Tampakan Copper-Gold Mining Projectin Mindanao is evident of proposing large scale mining. According to Espiritu(2015), the land is under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 authored by Sen.Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This permits a 100% proprietorship of the claimed mining land area and minerals by foreignmultinational mining corporations. Large scale mining is proposed by the companywhich includes an open-pit mining. This is processed through clearing thousandsof hectares of rainforests and agricultural lands, deep excavations inextracting the minerals, pouring oftoxic metals or chemicals to make mineral ores, and the consumption of millions of liters of water (Norgate, T.
&Rankin, W., 2000). The proposal has been a disturbance to the inhabitants of Tampakan,Mindanao. Many of them oppose as it may cause a great disaster in thebiodiversity. Terrestrial organisms such as the flora and fauna are not just beingaffected but as well as the community who depends on these resources (Espiritu,2015). Hence,it is evident how large scale mining affects the biodiversity to the extentthat it leads to the extinction of terrestrial organisms. Mining companies tendto do mining for personal benefits such as wealth, without thinking of thepossible consequences that might happen aftermath. However, although miningcouldn’t be ceased as this has been commonly practiced in the Philippines and acrossother places, there are always things that can lessen the impact of mining onbiodiversity by means of following the precautionary measures designated in theprocess of mining.
Mining can cause less harm on the biodiversity if the humanity avoidsillegal and unregulated mining such as small scale mining, administers aconcrete report of dumped toxic wastes, backfills mine areas and cleans minewastes properly, and conforms to the mining legislations and regulations. Beinga responsible miner cannot only save the biodiversity from devastation but canalso save one’s life from the hazards that mining can cause.