March 3, 2021 marks the celebration of World Wildlife Day. Part of the celebrations in the Philippines include DENR-BMB's launc of their digital wildlife training program which is now available online. Aside from that, they also held art/poster making contest. This year's theme also talks about "Forests and Livelihood: Sustaining People and Planet" which is quite an important subject.
DENR is making sure that the government conservation and protection efforts would be continued and this includes wildlife. All these even during the pandemic. The online conference was also hosted by eco warrior and celebrity Antoinette Taus.
Jim Sampulna Mining and Muslim Affairs of DENR says "The theme for the world wildlife day this year has a vital role in sustaining not just biodiversity but the livelihood of people globally. The green oasis not just provide food but wildlife. Forests are important for our indigents to provide energy, food and shelter. By working together we can stop bio-life traders. Happy world wildlife day to everyone."
Senator Cynthia Villar says "Thank you for having me in the World Wildlife Day 2021 celebration. I'm happy to be here with you today. This is very relevant for our time, as a legislator, I have filed yesterday an act strengthening the wildlife conservation particularly the wildlife protection act. RA 9147 is a measure that enables PH protect wildlife comprehensively including acts detrimental to wildlife including fines and penalties. The trade and transport of wildlife species has been international in nature and we have to have more teeth of which this new RA provide with more protection with our resources. The constant exploitation of wild fauna may have effects on diseases which are from animals, in turn spread viruses. We need not to only create awareness, but to take action with its protection. It would be too much for a country such as ours if we don't take care of our environment. Our country is one of a few biodiversity hot-spots. The more we protect, the less we lose wildlife. Now more than ever, there is a real need to strengthen our laws and include the protection of the world's most bio-diverse areas. As in any environmental issue, our actions are essential. It's part of our duty to make this world better than we found it."
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri Senator announced during this occasion filed SBN 2079 An Act Providing for a Revised Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. This appropriates funds for this cause and other purposes.
Ricardo Calderon AFoCO Executive Director says "This crisis reminded us the relationship between animals and human, the global efforts has started and the Philippines through DENR should recognize these developments. We are hoping to work more closely with DENR, the Biodiversity Management Bureau in making sure our resources and fauna are protected."
|Eco Warrior and Artist Joey Ayala performed during the online event
Also present during the occasion was Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu. He lauded the addition of two online learning platforms launched on this day as it enables the DENR to uphold its mandate of educating the people about the country’s wildlife resources despite the prevailing COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic. He says "Thanks to technology, we are able not only to communicate remotely, but also make sure that the Filipinos can continue to educate themselves about the environment, especially in protecting our wildlife species. Thanks to partner organizations as these breakthroughs would not be possible without their help."
The DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) launched this eTraining Course on Basic Wildlife Law Enforcement (BWLE) which can be accessed through https://elearn.adb.org. The site contains 7 modules and 19 stand alone topics which professionals can use which includes topics such as Wildlife Law Enforcement in the Philippines, Species Commonly involved in Wildlife Crimes and more. Aside from that, they also introduced the Wildlife Philippines Podcast which were developed with 20 higher education institutions under their Institutes of Environmental Governance. It is available on streaming platforms worldwide.
During the event, they also announced the automation of the issuance of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits which aims to improve to control international trade of endangered species and reduce opportunities for corruption and fraudulent documents. This will also enhance their capacity for information exchange with other countries.
This is a step ahead for those who care about the environment, our flora and fauna. The Philippines is in the middle of it all and if the right things happen to local agencies, the laws and regulations are passed, then all of the improvement and red-tape lessened, this could benefit more Filipinos and our future generations.