Acting DENR Secretary Jim Sampulna (second from left), DoT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (fourth from left) and DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (second from right) are joined by Senator-elect Loren Legarda -Leviste (third from left), United Nations Dr. Selva Ramachandran (far left) and Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert Borje (far right), Resident Representative of the Philippines Development Program. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Acting Secretary of the DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Jim Sampulna, Secretary of the Department of Tourism (DoT) Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Eduardo Año led the signing ceremony at the launch of the Year of Protections Areas (YoPA) marking the 90th anniversary of the establishment of national parks in the country.
The launch of the campaign is also part of the wider celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) 2022.
The joint statement says the DENR, through its Biodiversity Management Office and the UNDP Philippines Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), will lead the implementation of the campaign with the DoT and the DILG as partners. These agencies will work to promote protected areas (PAs) under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) and coordinate with other agencies at national and local levels to ensure effective conservation and sustainable management of parks. nationwide.
According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Philippines is one of the world’s 18 mega-biodiversity countries, containing two-thirds of Earth’s biodiversity and between 70% and 80% of the world’s plant and animal species. world. The Philippines ranks fifth in number of plant species and retains five percent of the world’s flora.
More than half of the 53,000 species described in the country are found nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, the Philippines is also a critical biodiversity hotspot with at least 700 species threatened with extinction. About 93% of the Philippines’ original forest cover has been lost since the 1990s, with 53% of its remaining coral reefs in poor condition.
This year’s campaign kicks off by showcasing six PAs in different regions: Bongsanglay Natural Park in Masbate; Apo Reef Natural Park in western Mindoro; Samar Island Nature Park in the provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar; Balinsasayao Twin Lakes Natural Park in Negros Oriental; Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental; and the mountains. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument in Camiguin.