The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) together with the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-BMB) concluded the Protect Wildlife Project through an online exit conference held on March 23, 2021- the Php1.2 billion ($25 million) USAID-funded project primarily aimed to reduce the major threats to Philippine biodiversity, such as poaching and illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products, and to enhance ecosystem goods and services. The project was implemented in various provinces in the country, to wit: a) province of Palawan, b) Sulu Archipelago, including Zamboanga City and Tawi-Tawi province, c) General Santos City, Sarangani, and, d) South Cotabato provinces in Southern Mindanao.
All throughout the four and half year- implementation, USAID ensured the sustenance of the project’s impacts in achieving success through the ecosystem approach sought to address threats to biodiversity while enabling rigorous integration of conservation outcomes with development objectives, supporting strong local ownership, and ensuring that lessons learned are applied at scale.
Upang matiyak na magiging tuloy-tuloy ang wildlife preservation efforts ng gobyerno ay sasamantalahin ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) ang paggamit ng information technology upang maturuan ang publiko ng kahalagahan ng pagbibigay-proteksiyon sa kapaligiran at wildlife species sa gitna ng mga pagsubok dulot ng coronavirus pandemic.
Ayon kay Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, ang paggamit ng karagdagang dalawang online learning platforms ay nagbibigay ng kakayahan sa DENR para mapatupad ang mandato nito na maturuan ang mga tao tungkol sa wildlife resources ng bansa sa kabila ng patuloy na coronavirus o COVID-19 pandemic.
"Thanks to technology, we are able not only to communicate remotely, but also make sure that the Filipinos can continue to educate themselves about the environment, especially in protecting our wildlife species," saad ni Cimatu.
On March 3, 2021, the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-BMB) led the annual celebration of the 8th World Wildlife Day with the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet” emphasizing the relationship between our forests and woodlands, its manifold services and benefits bestowed upon us.
The celebration of this global event is a medium to honor and show our appreciation to forty-three (43) officials/personnel from National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) for their valuable contributions to wildlife law enforcement from February to December 2020. In the same vein, the Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade (POGI), a composite team of wildlife enforcers from various agencies was recently honored during the Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards. The prestigious award was conferred upon by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to these valiant men and women.
Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is a serious threat to biodiversity, economies, and communities. It is the fourth largest transnational crime in the world after narcotics, human trafficking, and arms, with an estimated value of USD 10-23 billion per year (UNEP, 2016) .
Wildlife traffickers and organized criminal syndicates are increasingly using seaports as transshipment points for IWT. This is due to the large volume of goods processed daily, coupled by the lack of adequate infrastructure, systems, and manpower that, ultimately, make it difficult to detect cases of IWT in domestic and international ports.
Data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) show that of the 337 seaports registered with the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), 17 had cases of wildlife confiscations from 2010-2020. This number only reflects actual seizures in ports, and it is believed that more cases of illicit wildlife trade remain undetected.
2021, another decade arises – said to be the start of another journey of ecosystems restoration. It is a timely start for wetlands which are sometimes perceived as wasteland. Known as one of most productive habitats on earth which provide various direct and indirect benefits critical for human survival, wetlands remain largely unappreciated to the point of being regarded as wastelands.
The fifth episode of PA Talk in anticipation of the World Wetlands day on February 2, 2021 carried the theme “Wetlands or wasteland, which way to go?” aired on 26 January 2021 live via Facebook. This episode underscored the importance of wetlands and the challenges they confront. Policy gaps and the various programs and activities to further the conservation and protection of wetlands were tackled.