Known as the Philippines' last frontier, Palawan is an ecological hotspot rich in nickel ore.

In the southern hills of the island, lucrative mining projects backed by foreign investors destroy forests and threaten indigenous tribes who live off the land.

Live Box 201112191317520147

But mining companies are convincing more and more natives, suffering poverty, to accept mining. They promise to operate responsibly and offer jobs and development.

Riddled by subplots of corruption and crime, the conflict has created a rift between local communities, with some saying the environmental impact outweighs the material benefits.

Facing the prospect of revenue from a multi-billion dollar industry, can the government balance development with the interests of its people? 101 East asks how the Philippines can protect its last frontier.

101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

Click here for more 101 East.

Source: Al Jazeera