The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Biodiversity Management Bureau, leads the Philippine celebration of the 2022 International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD).
Since the year 2000, the IDBD has been globally celebrated every 22nd of May annually to raise awareness on the values, relevance and importance of biodiversity to human lives and all life forms. This year’s celebration with the theme, “Building a shared future for all life” shall highlight the need to act for nature towards a future where people and biodiversity thrive.
As a member state of the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity, the Philippines joins the 196 other countries around the world in celebrating the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) on May 22, 2022.
Protected Areas of the Philippines will take centerstage for this year’s IDBD celebration as the year 2022 will be declared as the Year of the Protected Areas to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the enactment of Republic Act no. 3915 or the National Parks Act. This Act formerly established the national parks system in the Philippines in 1932.
This year’s IDBD celebration will feature two main events namely: Kabahagi: An IDBD 2022 Capture Quest photo contest and the launching of the Year of the Protected Areas (YoPA).
The prequel event on May 20, 2022 will feature the Kabahagi: An IDBD 2022 Capture Quest where DENR Regional, Field and Protected Management Offices staff will showcase the beauty of their chosen protected areas in their respective regions and their photography skills. Each Regional Team will feature one (1) protected area in their region where they will take images that capture the ecosystems values and services of protected areas that contribute in building a shared future for all life.
The Kabahagi: IDBD 2022 Capture Quest is the DENR-BMB’s first ever simultaneous one day shoot photo contest where the participants in different locations will set their cameras to same date and time and take photos in their respective PAs interpreting the five (5) given categories namely: Flora and Fauna, Symmetry, Movement, Details and Creative. All teams will submit their five (5) best photos (one from each category) at the end of the day to the DENR-BMB Secretariat. The announcement of winners will be done during the launching of the YoPA on May 23, 2022 with DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna and other DENR officials.
Canon Philippines, USAID-Investing in Sustainability and Partnerships for Inclusive Growth and Regenerative Ecosystems (INSPIRE) project, Gerry Roxas Foundation, USAID-Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans and Landscapes (SIBOL) project, DENR-UNDP- Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) project and DENR-UNDP/GEF Project on Integrated Approach to Management of Major Biodiversity Corridors in the Philippines (BD Corridor Project) take pride as DENR-BMB’s partners for its first ever Kabahagi: IDBD 2022 Capture Quest photo contest which also takes inspiration from Canon’s PhotoMarathon contest.
Launching of the Year of the Protected Areas
The launching of the Year of the Protected Areas (YoPA) shall serve as the highlight of the 2022 IDBD celebration on May 23, 2022.
Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) along with Secretary Eduardo Ano of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat of the Department of Tourism (DOT) will lead the signing of the joint declaration that will support the celebration of the Year of the Protected Areas, a year-long awareness raising campaign that will promote Philippine national parks.
Through this joint declaration, the DENR through its Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) of UNDP Philippines along with DOT and DILG, will work together to manage our Protected Areas (PAs) ensuring that these remaining biologically rich areas and the various ecosystem services that they provide are sustained. Protected Areas are sites for nature recreation, source of water for irrigation and household use, local climate regulation, mitigate impacts of climate change and reduce risk of disasters, among other services critical for human survival in this modern age.
The YoPA campaign with the theme, “Protected Areas for a Protected Future,” will launch a massive information campaign that will highlight the need to conserve and protect our PAs and encourage people to travel locally and consider our PAs as their travel destinations. The series of PA promotions can greatly help in generating additional revenues from tourist visits which will help boost not only the financial aspect of PA management but also ensure the continuity of conservation efforts within PAs.
The YoPA campaign kick-off will feature six (6) PAs in different regions: Bongsanglay Natural Park in Masbate, Apo Reef Natural Park in Occidental Mindoro, Samar Island Natural Park in Northern and Eastern Samar, & (Western) Samar, Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Negros Oriental, Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental, and Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument in Camiguin.
From 244, we now have a total of 246 PAs across the country under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).