Legarda: PHL, One of the Biggest Losers Amid Threats of Biological MeltdownMay 30, 2014
Senator Loren Legarda today expressed alarm over reports of an impending biological meltdown that threatens the planet.
According to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the Philippines is ranked fourth in the world out of 19 ecological hotspots which indicate the highest concentration of biodiversity in the globe.
“Our country is blessed with rich biodiversity. This means we have the most to lose as threats of biological meltdown continue to be proven by scientific data and research,” she said.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, is calling on the government to get serious about biodiversity protection and in implementing a program to build sustainable communities that protect the environment.
“This research on biodiversity hotspot echoes other data about the country’s biodiversity and the signs of its gradual degradation. We are dubbed as one of the megadiverse countries, being among the richest globally in terms of plant and animal species, and because of this we are also the biggest losers of environmental assault,” she stated.
According to the research, 90% of the Philippine archipelago was forested during the 1900s. The original old-growth forest today remains at 3-5%. This has caused a ripple effect in which water, air and other ecological services have been compromised.
“We have unique ecosystems. The report indicated that 44% of the birds in the Philippines can only be found here. This means birdwatching is a unique experience because species like the Philippine eagle, trogon and the tarictic hornbill cannot be found elsewhere but in our country. Can you imagine a world where your children will only see Philippine eagle on photos, or Philippine tarsier will just be part of stories that the older generation can tell their kids?” Legarda stated.
“The government and all concerned institutions and departments, especially the local government must come up with a strategy to create sustainable communities which will be able to use our biodiversity responsibly,” she said.
“Education is also vital in our bid to protect our biodiversity. Let us get everyone on board, each member of the community must be aware of what’s happening. We all stand to lose a lot from a biodiversity meltdown,” she stressed.
Legarda has several projects that deal with biodiversity protection. Her most recent work is a collaborative video documentary on Philippine Marine Biodiversity, launched during Earth Day 2014. The video reports the state of the Philippines’ marine biodiversity and what needs to be done to protect it.