Save Phl from biodiversity meltdown – LegardaJune 1, 2014
DAVAO CITY , Philippines– Senator Loren Legarda yesterday urged the government to take immediate measures to protect the Philippines’ biodiversity following reports of impending biological meltdown that threatens the planet.
Legarda, chairman of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, called on the government to be serious about biodiversity protection and building sustainable communities.
She cited the Philippines’ fourth rank in the world out of 19 ecological hotspots, or areas with continued loss of biodiversity.
She noted that research on biodiversity hotspots echoes other data about the country’s biodiversity and signs of its gradual degradation.
“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 warned.
According to research, 90 percent of the Philippine archipelago was forested during the 1900s. The original old-growth forest today is only three to five percent. This has caused a ripple effect, as water, air and other ecological services have been compromised.
“We have unique ecosystems. The report indicated that 44 percent 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. Can you imagine a world where your children will only see the Philippine eagle in photos, or Philippine tarsier will just be part of stories that the older generation will tell their kids?” Legarda said.
“The government and all concerned institutions and departments, especially the local governments, must come up with a strategy to create sustainable communities which will be able to use our biodiversity responsibly.
“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 added.