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DENR to Enrich the Country’s Biodiversity Awareness this 2010

In a bid to put a stop to the continuing loss of species throughout the world and increase public awareness on the importance of biodiversity for life on Earth, the United Nations General Assembly declared this year as International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), with the theme, "Biodiversity is Life, Biodiversity is our Life".

The loss of biological diversity is essentially the bottom line of what people are doing to this planet and we are losing species at a rate which experts put at a rate that is 1,000 times their natural progression," Acting Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Eleazar Quinto said.

Quinto cited some of the major threats facing biodiversity which include habitat destruction due to massive deforestation, chemical pollution, biological pollution or introduction of alien invasive species and over-exploitation of biological resources.

"We at the DENR are taking advantage of the celebration to call on our citizenry to actively engage in various efforts to protect our wildlife resources. The Philippines is home to one of the planet’s richest sanctuaries of terrestrial and marine biodiversity but we need stronger cooperation and coordination not only among government agencies but also with other non-government organizations as well as the private sector in the effort to conserve, develop and ensure the perpetuity of our natural wealth for future generations," Quinto said.

The DENR chief said that the country has long taken pride in its wealth of flora and fauna and urged Filipinos to do their share in making the protection of these unique and endemic species "our top priority."

The country is one of the top hotspots for biodiversity in the world. Out of our 9,000 species of flowering plants, 227 are included in the Red List of Threatened Species and that 592 out of the country’s 1,137 endemic species of amphibians, birds and mammals have been declared as threatened or endangered.

He stressed that even as government moves to conserve them, everyone must do their share to protect the country’s forests, rivers and other ecosystems, which is home to wildlife.

The DENR chief added that the Philippines, as the official host of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) headquarters, has been spearheading biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region. ACB is an intergovernmental regional center tasked to facilitate cooperation and coordination among ASEAN member states and with relevant national governments, regional and international organizations on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, or biodiversity.

In addition to this is the DENR’s own information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns to spread awareness on the beauty and the need to protect the country’s varied flora and fauna. - DENR

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