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DENR to lead celebration of International Day for Biodiversity

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will lead on May 22 the local celebration of the International Day of Biological Diversity (IDBD) with a call to protect and preserve island ecosystems in the Philippines, which is considered as one of the world’s hotspots for biodiversity.

With theme, Island Biodiversity, the celebration seeks to promote awareness on the rich natural resources that island ecosystems harbor.

Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Mundita Lim said that islands are known to contain unique assemblage of life. She also said that the isolation of islands brought about by evolution has resulted in the emergence of unique species with distinct genetic characteristics. This explains why the Philippines as an archipelago is very rich in biodiversity and endemic species of wild flora and fauna.

Relatedly, the BMB (formerly known as the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau) will hold a program to mark the celebration at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center Amphitheater in Quezon City.

Expected to grace the occasion are BMB Director Lim, Department of Education-National Capital Region Director Luz Almeda, Mr. Berthold Schirm of GIZ, Mr. Joseph Foltz of US Agency for International Development and other officials from DENR and Quezon City government.

The program will begin with the launch of the BMB’s coffee table book titled, “Treasures of the Philippine Wild,” featuring the country’s known but threatened wildlife species such as the Philippine eagle, Golden-crowned flying fox, Philippine cockatoo, Philippine crocodile, Philippine tamaraw and marine sea turtles or pawikan.

Another highlight of the program will be the awarding of winners of the biodiversity photo contest themed “Protecting the Reservoir of Life, Selfie for Biodiversity”.

The contest, which was open to the public from April 15 to May 15, was organized by the BMB, together with the German International Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

Each of the grand prize winners for the digital camera and mobile phone categories will be awarded with all-expense paid trips to Palawan and Mt. Pulag, respectively.

The bureau will also kickoff the Philippine Biodiversity Festival at the NAPWC grounds. The month-long activity will exhibit the various eco-friendly products from various regions and provinces, and educational materials on their biodiversity.

About 80 high school students and teachers from 12 public schools in Quezon City will participate in the two-day Youth Summer Camp, also at the NAPWC from May 22-23, 2014.

The participants will be educated on the values, benefits and importance of biodiversity, familiarize themselves with various wild plants and animals around the NAPWC, and commit to biodiversity protection and conservation.

The summer camp is jointly organized by BMB, the DENR’s Youth Desk and the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, with support from Universal Robina, Gardenia, Human Nature and Maynilad Water Corp.

The IDB is celebrated every May 22 of the year to commemorate the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.


DENR to lead celebration of International Day for Biodiversity Wednesday, 21 May 2014 16:19