BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya: A river foundation in collaboration with an Australian mining firm commercially operating in the province launched “Project We Build,” with the goal of promoting the sustainable restoration and management of river basins destroyed by illegal small scale mining operations in the Cagayan Valley region.
In this project, also called “Water and Environment: Building Unity for Inclusive Living and Development,” OceanaGold (Phils.) Inc. has partnered with International River Foundation (IRF), affected communities and non-government organizations.
IRF and OceanaGold officials said the degradation of river systems that lie dangerously close to sites of mining activities has been the object of serious concern in many countries throughout the developing world.
They said the issue—which experts trace to unmitigated illegal small scale mining—is viewed particularly by the province of Nueva Vizcaya with “grave urgency.”
“It has impacted communities along the Didipio River since the 1970s when gold was first discovered,” said IRF Chief Executive Officer Nick Schofield.
During the launching of the said project, Schofield announced it will mainly focus on the integrated river basin management in the Addalam River.
Meanwhile, OceanaGold also announced the launch of its Water Leader Scholarship Program.
OceanaGold Country Director Bradley Norman said the program is open to all inclined to doing research and further study on sustainable river system management under the supervision of the IRF.
He said the company has a proven track record of success in sound environmental practices for the past 24 years of operations in New Zealand and more recently in the Philippines.