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For queries/more information about the Biodiversity Advocacy Campaign, please contact the Caves, Wetlands and Other Ecosystems Division at
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PE-Tarp-2015forweb
17th Philippine Eagle Week
04-10 June 2015

The DENR celebrates the 17th year of the Philippine Eagle Week, with the theme, "Saving Eagles, Protecting Forests, Securing Our Future" which reminds us of our task to protect the country's national bird and safeguard their role in keeping a healthy forest ecosystem that benefit communities. Philippine eagles are natural predators of the forest ecosystem and as such, they prevent the proliferation of single or few species thereby contributing in the maintenance of a balanced population of diverse species. They also regulate the population of smaller animals such as rodents, monkeys, and snakes which when left unchecked, may destroy agricultural crops and pose danger to humans.

Underscoring our actions to combat human-induced threats to its existence, the Philippine eagle continues to soar and make its presence known in the forests. In fact, for the last five (5) years, an increase in the number of sightings has been recorded, from twenty nine (29) individuals in 2010 to thirty nine (39) in 2014. Collaboration with local partners such as the Philippine Eagle Foundation and Haribon Foundation have also been successful in documenting new territories of the species in Apayao and Mt. Mingan as well as the rediscovery of extant population in Leyte Island by the UP-Diliman.

Over the years, nesting sites of these birds have been located and continuously monitored by the DENR Regional Eagle Watch Teams. In 2013, three new (3) eaglets that hatched in Zamboanga have since fledged in search of vacant territories in the early part of 2014. In addition, the DENR protects the habitats of these birds, many of which are found in Protected Areas such as Mt. Apo Natural Park, Mt. Kitanglad Natural Park, Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park and the Pasonanca Natural Park. To secure more forest habitats for the Philippine eagles, the DENR is in the process of establishing their habitats outside Protected Areas as Critical Habitats (CHs) and Local Conservation Areas (LCAs) in collaboration and partnership with local communities including the Indigenous Peoples' groups whose ancestral domains lie within such important conservation sites.

The DENR enjoins the public to pro-actively participate to help save the remaining population of our national bird and ensure their survival in the wild. Truly, the crown jewel of Philippine biodiversity deserves the utmost care and attention of the Filipino citizenry.

 

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On 6 May 2009, the country adopted the CTI National Plan of Action (NPOA) which has 5 goals namely: (1) Priority Seascapes; (2) Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries Management; (3) Marine Protected Areas; (4) Climate Change Adaptation; and (5) Threatened Species. For the goals in the NPOA to be achieved, the National CTI Coordinating Committee (NCCC) recognizes the importance of information dissemination to encourage the participation of multiple stakeholders including national and local communities that would be able to implement the program.

It was in the 4th Meeting of the CTI – CFF Council of Ministers last November 2012 when June 9 was declared as the Coral Triangle after it was endorsed during the 8th Senior Officials Meeting. This declaration makes the Coral Triangle Day as part of the official CTI activities and directs all of the CTI-CFF countries to participate in the event.

 

The Philippines, being a part of the Coral Triangle Region and one of the members of the Coral Triangle Initiative, joins the Coral Triangle Day Celebration which is an annual, open-sourced event that brings together individuals, organizations, and establishments on one special day of the year to enlighten people on ocean conservation and various ways to protect and conserve the Coral Triangle which is the world's epicentre of marine biodiversity.

The event will be celebrated in several beaches around the Coral Triangle region through numerous activities such as beach clean-ups; sustainable seafood dinners and exhibitions; bazaars; and beach parties, among others—all carrying the message of ocean conservation under the overall banner of the Coral Triangle Day (WWF Global).

The goal of the Coral Triangle Day is to position the Coral Triangle as a globally-significant ecoregion—a modern day icon of the natural world so that millions of people learn more about its significance to their everyday lives and are empowered to take specific actions to help conserve and protect this natural treasure. Specifically, it aims to:

a. Promote appreciation by the general public on the significance of the Coral Triangle Region and, the Philippines as part of the Region.

b. Instill awareness among general public of the current state of the Coral Triangle Region and the natural and anthropogenic impacts that cause its degradation.

c. Introduce to the general public the Coral Triangle Initiative and its goals and initiatives through the launching of different knowledge materials.

d. Gain the cooperation of the public in achieving these goals by actively participating in the activities of their LGUs and other NGOs.

e. Engage the youth in activities that advocate sustaining of coastal and marine ecosystem services in the CT Region.

For more information, you may visit the www.coraltriangleday.org.

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DENR leads International Biodiversity Day Celebration

The Philippines along with 195 member countries of the Convention on Biological Diversity celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) every May 22 annually to promote understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues with this year’s theme, “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.” The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) thru the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) spearheads the yearly IDBD celebration. Various activities are lined up for this year’s event.  A Youth Summer Camp will be conducted on May 19-21, 2015 at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, Quezon City. This will be participated in by around 150 students and teachers from the six (6) school districts of the City of Manila. Partners for the conduct of camp activities include USAID-B+WISER Project, Haribon Foundation and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. Sponsors for the camp include Maynilad, RFM Foods Corp., ARC Refreshments Corp., First Gen Corp., Gardenia Philippines, and EL Laboratories.


In collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, a photo contest called “Selfie Take 2 for Biodiversity” is also being run encouraging the public to capture in a single photo, commitments and efforts on the conservation and protection of biodiversity. Deadline for submission of photo entries is on May 19, 2015.

 

Culminating the celebration is the Media Launch of the Biodiversity Advocacy Campaign to be conducted on the IDBD itself, May 22, 2015. The Campaign aims to get the support of media and other relevant partners in disseminating relevant information to increase public awareness and appreciation on the values, importance and benefits of conserving biodiversity, and at the same time generate public support towards biodiversity conservation and protection. People ought to understand what biodiversity provides to sustain life in this planet, for them to value and care for these resources.

2015 marks the 16th year the country is celebrating the “Month of the Ocean” (MOO)By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 57 issued in 1999, the month of May was declared as the MOO. Activities to be conducted in observance of the MOO aims to highlight the importance and significance of conservation, protection, and sustainable management of Philippine coastal and marine resources. The Presidential Proclamation mandates the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) to spearhead the activities of MOO in collaboration with the different sectors of the society.

During one on his recent presentation, Dr. Edgardo Gomez, founding director of the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute, said that more than 300-hectaresof reef area have been reclaimed by China citing the March 2015 National Security Council Secretariat data. Based on “current economic value” of coral reefs per year valued at $352,249 per hectare, the total value lost due to China’s reclamation exceeds $100 million, he said (bworldonline.com). Aside from the reclamation happening in West Philippine Sea, the Philippines face several other challenges in managing its coastal and marine environment.

During the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth (22-25 April 2015) in Hague, high level officials were gathered to discuss solutions for healthy oceans. The Summit particularly focused on some of the causes that have led to the loss of critical habitat as well as the potential impacts of such loss, and the ways on how to address these threats.

“This means balancing the demand for growth with the need for conservation of marine areas; addressing illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the high seas and within national exclusive economic zones; and ensuring private sector growth does not come at the expense of protecting the livelihoods of local communities.” – fao.org

The significance of the ocean to human well-being is undeniable, as millions of Filipinos depend on coral reefs and their associated ecosystems, providing food and livelihood to small-scale artisanal and subsistence fishers as well as commercial fishers. Given that the Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,597 islands, the development of the coastal areas is crucial, as 78% of the country’s 80 provinces and 56% of its 1,634 cities and municipalities, are located along its coasts. These ecosystems provide diverse and valuable functions and services, such as coastal protection, fisheries production, and regulation services as well as recreational, educational and aesthetic values, contributing significantly to the tourism sector as well (Padilla, 2009). Coral Reefs, and other ecosystems also improve the adaptive capacity of coastal communities against climate change as it dissipates wave energy and improves coastal stability. Moreover, the climate is being regulated by mangroves, planktons in water, and corals which take in CO2, reducing carbon in the atmosphere.In order to address the issues of physical destruction of coral reef and its effect to the overall health of the environment, this year, the MOO celebration will focus on the importance of the coral reefs and the irreversible damage and widespread damage of coral reef destruction to the biodiversity and ecological services provided by the oceans.

In general, the goal of the MOO 2015 is to make people understand how conservation and protection of the oceans translates to a healthy and flourishing community. Specifically, MOO aims to:

1.     Enhance public awareness on the current state of the oceans, and the ecosystem goods and services provided by our marine biodiversity,

2.     Emphasize the effects of unsustainable coastal and marine development to the biodiversity of the oceans, and how these impact on the upland and coastal communities;

3.     Encourage participation of the people in safeguarding and promoting sustainable use of coastal and marine resources by presenting ways on how they can take part in implementing the various programs on oceans

4.     Call for local leaders, policy makers and private sector to integrating the sustainable management of coastal and marine environment into their planning and governance decisions;

Moreover, this year’s MOO celebrates the importance of protecting marine biodiversity to increase climate resiliency and to improve livelihoods from fisheries to ecotourism.

This year’s theme, STAND UP, SAVE OUR REEFS emphasizes the cause and effect relationship of our actions towards the environment and the ecosystem services and goods that the oceans provide to create a flourishing community. In light of the current issues in our coral reefs, we are also highlighting the need to make a stand and save our front line barriers against coastal calamities.