Press Releases

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has welcomed a nature and adventure park in Negros Oriental province as its newest partner in wildlife conservation and in the fight against illegal wildlife trade and poaching.

The DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) recently forged an agreement with Dreamland Nature and Adventure Park in Amlan town, which agreed to become a repository of animals rescued and confiscated from wildlife traffickers.

Owned and managed by the municipal government of Amlan, Dreamland attracts tourists and local folk with its nature and wildlife adventures. The 16-hectare park recently acquired wildlife species, including wild cats from the Middle East and camels from Australia.

BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim and Amlan Mayor Bentham dela Cruz signed the agreement during simple rites held at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City. Negros Oriental Rep. George Arnaiz, Amlan Vice Mayor Gino dela Cruz and other BMB officials witnessed the signing.

Lim said the partnership was part of the BMB’s continuing management and improvement of its wildlife rescue centers (WRCs), which rehabilitate injured, sick and orphaned native wildlife and releases healthy animals to their natural habitat.

She explained that the BMB has the authority to dispose of some of the animals in its custody through different modes, including partnership with zoos and other animal centers.

“Some of our confiscated protected species cannot be released back to the wild, so one of our options is to turn them over to qualified institutions for co-management,” Lim pointed out.

According to the BMB chief, the collaboration would boost government efforts to educate the public on the importance of preserving wildlife.

For his part, Mayor Dela Cruz said the initiative would serve as Amlan’s contribution to wildlife conservation. “If we don’t do this now, future generations may be able to see only in pictures what some of our wildlife look like,” he said.

Under the agreement, the BMB will “loan” to Dreamland “certain species and quantity of wildlife fauna” from its other WRCs. The bureau will also document and monitor Dreamland’s care of the animals, and provide the necessary technical assistance.

Dreamland, on the other hand, will assume full responsibility, including shouldering all expenses for the transfer and care of the animals.

The facility will also be allowed to acquire additional species from authorized sources, but the loaned animals and its future progenies or offspring will remain as government property.

The agreement shall remain in effect for five years and is renewable.

Dela Cruz said the municipal government is expected to gain a 10 percent share in the income of the park which, aside from being a wildlife facility, is also being developed for other recreational purposes. ###

The Philippines will celebrate this year’s World Water Day (WWD) with a focus on the vital role of water in achieving sustainable development.

A series of activities leading up to the WWD 2015 on March 22 is planned by organizers led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

This year’s theme, “Water and Sustainable Development,” seeks to emphasize the importance of water in relation to health, ecosystems, urbanization, industrial processes, energy, food and equality.

The annual celebration kicks off with the 2015 Water and Sustainable Awards, which will recognize “water champions” consisting of organizations and individuals who are helping out their communities in addressing water issues and promoting sustainable development. It is co-presented by the DENR and water concessionaire Maynilad and will be held today at the UP Bahay ng Alumni in Diliman, Quezon City.

For March 17, the Laguna Lake Development Authority will hold a tour of Lake Pandin in San Pablo; the DENR-Region 3 will conduct simultaneous river cleanup in the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan and Bataan, as well as portions of the Manila Bay; and the DENR-National Capital Region (NCR) and Manila Water will begin a two-day lecture series on the importance of water.

Employees of the local governments of Kawit and Noveleta towns in Cavite will join the DENR and Maynilad in a two-day tree planting activity under the “Plant for Life: Save Bacoor-Cañaco-Manila Bay” program, starting March 17.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) will hold a symposium on “Water Security towards Sustainable Development” in Quezon City on March 18.

Three activities are lined up for March 19. These are the water education seminar for elementary and high school teachers to be held at the Air Quality Management Training Center of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB); the “Scubasurero” underwater cleanup activity in Masinloc, Zambales, organized by the DENR-Region 3; and a roundtable discussion on possible amendments to the Water Code of the Philippines arranged by the National Water Resources Board and the Philippine Water Partnership.

Other activities are as follows:

March 19-20: DENR-NCR and Maynilad will hold interactive educational activities under the “WWD 2015 Daloy Dunong: Water Education Drive” for elementary pupils in the cities of Muntinlupa and Manila. The Local Water Utilities Administration will also conduct the two-day Buhay KYUT (health, hygiene and water conservation) program in Iloilo City.

March 22: The EMB and the River Basin Control Office will be joined by various local government units in a river cleanup in Malabon City. The WWD 2015 Run for Water and Sustainable Development, sponsored by Maynilad, will be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay City.

March 23 and 26: The ERDB and the Department of Education will lead the National Conference on Climate Change and Water Safety for Health, and the “Gising Diwa: Likas Kayang Gamit ng Yamang Tubig” for participants from Laguna, and Tayabas and Pagbilao towns in Quezon.

March 25-27: Water Philippines 2015 Expo and Conference and the Pipes and Tubing Philippines 2015 Expo, both sponsored by UBM Water Philippines, will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

WWD was first celebrated in 1993 when the United Nations declared March 22 of every year as World Day for Water. In the Philippines, the celebration lasts for at least one week by virtue of Executive Order No. 258 issued in 1996, adopting the Philippine Water Week. #

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