DENR, EDNP urge public to save plant, animal species from extinction

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here and the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP) urged the public to save plant and animal species from extinction to maintain a well-balanced and functioning ecosystem.

In the message of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, delivered by executive director Paquito Moreno of DENR in Central Luzon during the culminating activity of Earth Day 2019 celebration recently in Obando town, he noted that the problem of biodiversity loss has gone haywire due to irresponsible people, wildlife poachers and traders in cahoots.

“It is the responsibility of the DENR to protect wildlife, but the job may be futile without the participation of the people,” Cimatu said, adding that the Earth Day is an opportune time of environmental consciousness and awareness to tap communities as partners in championing environment and wildlife protection.

On the other hand, EDNP President Wigberto Tañada, Jr. stressed that educating and raising awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon are significant elements to prevent species loss.

He added that the increased rate of extinction of species has been largely attributed to human activities, which have permanently damaged the ecosystem and threatened species.

“Extinction is primarily a result of human activity. Sadly, because of lack of care or even ignorance, human activity has irretrievably upset the balance of nature,” he said.

Statistics from the Earth Day International (EDI) shows that 40% of world’s bird species are in decline with one of eight threatened with global distinction, and the loss of the world’s wild animal population, specifically land animals, has fallen by 40%.

EDI studies likewise prove that quarter of the world’s coral reefs are beyond repair, while 75% are at risk.

This trend, Tañada noted, cannot continue, since nature should not be neglected due to unrestrained economic interests.

“We must adopt policies that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats, and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values,” Tañada added.

Cimatu also appealed to local communities and leaders to work in harness to ensure that all of resources, be it mining, energy or food are sustained.

“Let us keep the spirit of Earth Day every single day of our life, so that we will never lose our focus on the need to conserve and protect Mother Earth,” he stressed.

Celebrated every April 22, the theme of this year’s Earth Day, “Protect our Species,” underscores the need to encourage communities in the global movement to avert the unprecedented environmental adversaries, especially the rapid reduction of plant and wildlife species.

News

DENR, JICA open P23-M access road to boost livelihood, agroforestry in Nueva Ecija

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently opened a 3.7-km access road in Conversion village in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija that will ease in the transportation of products of upland farmers coming from their agroforestry farm and help increase economic productivity, environment official said.

Paquito Moreno, Jr., executive director of the DENR in Central Luzon, said the P23-million worth access road was funded by JICA as an “agroforestry support facility” in the 10-year Forestland Management Project (FMP) in Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed, which will boost the livelihood of some 350 upland farmers and their families managing about 14,000 hectares of agroforestry and forest plantations.

“Our upland farmers can now easily bring their products like mango, cashew, cacao and coffee to the nearby market in the town using this access road. This will serve as a channel to increase local trade and productivity, since it connects farm areas to market towns,” he explained.

He said transportation cost will be reduced and post-harvest losses of local farmers will also be minimized, since the newly newly-opened access road will ensure easier access to social services such as health and education.

Citing the significance of forging alliance towards community welfare, Moreno thanked the JICA for supporting the project aimed at the development, conservation, protection and sustainable use of forest resources.

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