Davao Oriental celebrates wealth in biodiversity

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Ceremonial Cutting of the ribbon to launch the exhibit. (From R to L)- IP Rep. Board Member Charlie Ambasan, San Isidro Mayor Justina Yu, Guest Speaker Jayson Ibanez from the PEF, and Board Member Nino Sotero Uy

Province of Davao Oriental—Gifted with its vast wealth in biodiversity from reefs to ridges, Davao Oriental recently joined the international campaign in raising awareness of protecting the biodiversity during the celebration of the United Nations’ International Day for Biological Diversity  Thursday, May 22 at the Subangan Provincial Museum.

Together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), the provincial government of Davao Oriental launched an array of exhibit featuring the diverse flora and fauna of the province thru photos, visual aids, and even actual species of raptors, known to be endemic in the Davao Region.

Part of the Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corridor, which is considered to play a very important part in the local biodiversity, Davao Oriental boasts of teeming nature and wildlife that drawn researchers’ and tourists’ interest over the years.

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Guests view exhibits displayed in front of the Subangan

Guest speaker Jayson Ibanez of the Philippine Eagle Foundation said during the program that the physical abundance of different species, including those only found within the province’s territory is a visual evidence of how diverse and rich Davao Oriental is in terms of its natural wealth. He noted several species of birds, frogs, rodents, and raptors found only in Davao Oriental, particularly in its two famous mountains – the Mt. Hamiguitan and Mt. Kampalili.

Guest Speaker, Jasyson Ibanez from the Philippine Eagle Foundation

Guest Speaker, Jasyson Ibanez from the Philippine Eagle Foundation

Having toured the Subangan Museum that showcased the province’s natural wealth, Ibanez explains that Davao Oriental is actually a haven of different ecosystem… the marine ecosystem, to the lowland forest ecosystem to the mountain, mossy and bonsai forest. “Davao Oriental is truly blessed with such a diversity of ecosystems,” he said.

He also noted Davao Oriental’s pride – the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary as one of the most important biodiversity area in the Philippines flourishing with diverse species. Anticipating an inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Mt. Hamigutian is famous for its unique pygmy forest. If inscribed, Mt. Hamiguitan would be the first site in the entire island of Mindanao and the first mountain in the Philippines to be placed in the prestigious list.

Meanwhile, making sure that all these natural treasures are protected, the provincial government under the direction of Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, who is known for her advocacy in environment protection, has recently come up with a provincial environment code set as a framework for the province’s environment conservation and protection efforts.

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Provincial ENRO OIC Col. Ganir (Right) handed over a certificate of appreciation to guest speaker Jayson Ibanez (left)

Its creation made an apparent significance as typhoon Pablo hit the province in 2012. “Our experience with typhoon Pablo has opened our eyes that the richness we have today may not be here tomorrow,” Gov. Malanyaon said in a message delivered by OIC Environment and Natural Resources Officer Dante M. Ganir.

In her speech, she pointed out the essential role of the local government units in the conservation and protection efforts.

“From reefs to ridges, we can say that our province is very rich in biological resources. But if we do not take care of these resources, these could be gone forever, especially in this time of changing climate,” Gov. Malanyaon said. “Thus it is just fitting that we take care of our biodiversity by protecting and conserving it,” she added. PIO

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Provincial Environment Specialist Dolores Valdesco explains the background of the celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity

 

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Cultural dance performance from the Kaliwat Theatre Collective

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