Gina Lopez, Who Led Crackdown on Mines in the Philippines, Dies at 65 – by Jason Gutierrez (New York Times – August 19, 2019)

https://www.nytimes.com/

MANILA — Gina Lopez, a former environmental activist who introduced a broad crackdown on Philippine mining companies after she was appointed the country’s environmental secretary in 2016, died Monday at age 65.

Her death, from multiple organ failure, was confirmed by the ABS-CBN Foundation, a social development group in which she was the longtime chair.

The outspoken Lopez landed the job of acting environment secretary when President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016. And she wasted no time in going after major mining companies that she said had flagrantly violated the country’s environmental laws.

She ordered 23 mines to shut down and about five others to suspend operations. She also canceled 75 lucrative contracts for mines that she said threatened watersheds.

In moving to halt the operations of 28 of the country’s 41 mining companies, she was taking aim at businesses that accounted for about half of Philippine nickel production, which environmentalists said had left rivers, rice fields and watersheds stained red with nickel laterite.

For the rest of this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/obituaries/gina-lopez-philippines-dies.html

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