You can sign on to our Change.org campaign here https://www.change.org/DefundJalaurDam
We are partners and allies of Fair Finance Philippines, part of a global network of civil society organizations advocating for responsible, accountable, and sustainable finance and investments.
The Jalaur Dam in Central Panay is planned to be built on the ancestral homeland of around 17,000 indigenous Tumandok people. This Tumandok community is home to the rich Panay Bukidnon culture, materialized through burial grounds and sacred sites in the province of Iloilo, Philippines.
The Tumandok people’s resistance to the project since 2011 was able to delay the development of the dam. However, the decade-long struggle turned bloody in December 2020, when nine (9) Tumandok indigenous leaders were killed and seventeen (17) more arrested.
We are alarmed by the violence and brutality caused by the Jalaur Dam as a ‘development’ project.
Fair Finance Philippines believe that the businesses and financial institutions involved in the Jalaur Dam should be held accountable for the human rights violations committed against the Tumandok people. We call on the bank to take into account the serious and adverse Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks and impact of the project on the Tumandok community, Panay Bukidnon culture, and its impact on the biodiversity of the locality.
Doing good is good for business. The business case for sustainability is clear. Sustainable and ethical core business practices as well as investing in sustainable and inclusive projects will translate to high financial returns, long-term stability and increase resilience.
Sustainability has been proven to lower cost of capital, increase operational and financial performance and make institutions more attractive to investors who are now taking into consideration ESG performance in their institutional long-term investment and strategic business decisions.
Using a forward-looking scenario analysis on the project, it can be reasonably predicted that conflict and displacement of the Tumandok people will lead to further supply chain disruptions, conflicts, and delays on the ground. This is on top of the impact of the dam on the environment which may cause catastrophic flooding and/or drought.
The Jalaur dam violates the rights of the Tumandok people to their land and their culture. The displacement of the tribe will result in loss of their livelihood. It will also violate their sacred cultural sites which will have devastating impacts on their culture and practices.
As a global network of CSOs, we call the Export-Import Bank of South Korea, including its affiliates, to action to immediately cease funding the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project.
The Jalaur Dam is not sustainable and will not offer long term solutions nor provide long lasting economic benefits for the Filipino people most especially the Tumandok people.
We insist that the bank re-examine the Jalaur River Mega Dam Project according to global ESG standards and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP BHR). We further call upon the bank to conduct due diligence to assess the real impact and risks of the project they are supporting.
We ask the Export-Import Bank of South Korea to stand with the Tumandok people and invest in a better and more sustainable future for all by supporting clean and more economically efficient renewable energy technology such as solar and wind, and by implementing sustainable irrigation methods and management systems that can also deliver year-round and bulk water supply promised by the dam’s developers. Standing in solidarity with the Tumandok people hits the triple bottom line of being good for people, planet, and profit. It is a textbook case where doing good is good for business.
We also urge all individuals, concerned groups, institutions in Korea and around the world, to call on the Export-Import Bank of South Korea to respect indigenous peoples and their communities and invest in a more sustainable future for all by immediately ceasing funding the Jalaur Dam.
We the undersigned are members, partners, and allies of Fair Finance Asia – Philippines:
Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC)
Fair Finance Asia
Fair Finance Asia – Philippines
Fair Finance International
Freedom From Debt Coalition
Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS)
Swedish Embassy in Bangkok