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.