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Sting Moves Philippines Concert After Environmentalists' Petition

Owners of original venue plan to uproot trees for parking lot and mall expansion

Sting performs in Amsterdam.
PAUL BERGEN/AFP/GettyImages
October 20, 2012 3:15 PM ET

Sting has agreed to move the location of his upcoming concert in the Philippines after a petition by environmentalists called attention to some potentially destructive development plans by the original venue's owners, the Associated Press reports.

The "Back to Bass" concert was originally set to take place on December 9th at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Manila Bay, a venue operated by the conglomerate SM Prime Holdings. The conglomerate has plans in place to uproot 182 trees in a mountain city in the northern Philippines in order to build a parking lot and mall expansion.  A local environmentalist named Karlo Marko Altomonte wrote of SM's plans to the Rainforest Foundation, the environmental protection group that Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, established in 1989. Altomonte told the Rainforest Foundation that removing the trees would increase air pollution and the risk of landslides and flooding in Baguio City, and started the petition, which declared that "Sting can't be saving rainforests and enabling SM to rape the environment at the same time!"

"Understandably, the known environment advocate artist was left with no choice in spite of the SM representatives' appeal," a spokesman for the arena said in a statement.

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