Eleven environment advocates, including Dumaguete City-based and former Environment Secretary Angel Alcala, were honored in yesterday’s recognition rites of the DENR-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau and the Foundation for the Philippine Environment in line with the 25th anniversary celebration of PAWB in Manila yesterday.
Alcala, a columnist of the DAILY STAR, led awardees Liza Paguntalan, Danilo Balete, Victor Amoroso, Ulysses Ferreras, Philip Godfrey Jakosalem, Mariano Duya, Maria Josefa Veluz, Rafe Brown, Perry Ong and Arvin Diesmos in receiving their awards for discovering and helping identify various flora and fauna species in the country, including endemic ones, for the past 25 years.
“Their dedication to science and conservation is commendable," FPE board of trustees treasurer Vilma Joson said during the event, a government press release said.
Over 270 flora and fauna species have been discovered across the country since 1987, PAWB noted. Among those species are 29 rodents, 44 reptiles and three bats.
The government aims to establish the first natural history museum in biodiversity-rich Philippines by 2014.
PAWB and the National Museum are collaborating on the matter to help further promote public appreciation and conservation of biodiversity nationwide. "The undertaking also aims to help enhance research on Philippine biodiversity," PAWB director, Ma. Theresa Mundita Lim, said.
She raised the need for more research and conservation efforts, noting that species are disappearing faster than these are able to propagate. "The extinction rate is 1,000 times greater.”
Exploitation, habitat destruction and land conversion are among causes of specie extinction, experts noted, the press release said.*PNA
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