Press Releases

Nagsagawa ng national conference para sa wildlife forensics ang Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) na may layong malabanan ang animal trafficking at iba pang wildlife crimes.

Ginanap ang conference sa Mandaue City noong Hulyo 16-18 kung saan nag sama-sama ang mga kawani ng pamahalaan na bahagi sa pagpapatupad ng wildlife laws.

Ang wildlife forensics ay tumutukoy sa paggamit ng technology at science para sa imbestigasyon at pag-uusig ng wildlife crime.

Ito ay magagamit upang maging tama ang pagtukoy sa pinaghihinalaang wildlife specimens kabilang na dito ang iligal na produkto tulad ng pangolin scales at pinulbos na ground turtle meat.

Ayon kay DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, ang tatlong araw na conference ay may layon na suriin ang training design ng wildlife forensics at criminal investigation para sa wildlife enforcement.

“The use of wildlife forensics is now being considered globally as an invaluable tool to combat illegal wildlife trafficking,” pagdidiin pa ni Cimatu.

Kabilang sa mga naging tagapagsalita ay ang mga eksperto mula sa Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation at Project Wildlife.

Sinabi naman ni DENR Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus at BMB Director Ricardo Calderon, na kasalukuyang nakikipag-ugnayan ang kanyang tanggapan sa University of the Philippines-Institute of Biology para mapag-aralan ang aplikasyon ng wildlife forensics sa bansa.

Aniya, may DNA barcodes ng Philippine biodiversity ang naturang unibersidad na siyang magiging batayan sa pagtukoy ang pag-iingat nito.

“When a wildlife sample arrives in the laboratory, the biologists can compare the DNA sequence and determine its conservation category,” saad pa ni Calderon.

Kasalukuyan ding pinalalakas ang kakayahan ng mga tagapag-patupad ng batas or law enforcers sa wildlife forensics.

Kabilang sa mga dumalo sa conference ay ang mga kinatawan ng DENR field operations offices, Forest Management Bureau, PCSD at DENR regional offices.

Dumalo rin sa conference ang mga delegado mula sa BFAR, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Bureau of Customs, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Justice-National Prosecution Service, Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime, School for Investigation and Detective Development, Philippine Center on Transnational Crime at International Criminal Police Organization-Manila Bureau. ###

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has called on experts and researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to work together in coming up with research-based solutions that would reduce the negative impact of invasive alien species (IAS) to biodiversity and the environment in general.

“I stand firm in promoting convergence of our research and development (R&D) efforts for a sustainable region-wide management of (IAS),” Cimatu said as he welcomed the delegates to the international conference on IAS management that took place in Manila from July 9 to 11.

“Let us continue with our pursuit for research-driven strategies and policies to effectively manage and conserve biodiversity for the good of humankind,” he added.

The three-day event called “IAS Conference 2019” has brought together IAS experts, researchers, dialogue partners, environment managers and other stakeholders from the Asia-Pacific region.

In his keynote speech read by DENR OIC Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus and concurrent Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Ricardo Calderon, Cimatu underscored the need for a collective effort to tackle IAS that has been “invading and destroying nature’s ecological balance.”

“These IAS pose serious environmental concerns and are among the major threats to biodiversity,” Cimatu pointed out. “They cover a wide gamut of ecosystems from the terrestrial to aquatic environments, irreversibly impacting on biodiversity, agriculture, as well as food and water security.”

IAS are plants, animals, pathogens and other organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, and which may cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature defines IAS as species whose introduction and spread from their place of origin threaten biological diversity. They are the second biggest cause of biodiversity loss all over the world, next only to habitat destruction.

Except for Antartica and the glaciated Greenland, the IAS affected 17 percent of the global land area which are highly predisposed to their infestation.

These environmental villains are found in many countries in Asia and the Pacific, including the Philippines, assailing the region’s key terrestrial, wetland, coastal, marine and estuarine ecosystems.

In agriculture, the IAS broadly applies to any non-indigenous weeds, pest, insects and other disease-causing agents that disrupt crop and livestock, among others.

In the freshwater environment, one common invasive species is the carp that originated from Europe but has insidiously multiplied and is now found in almost all parts of the globe. This alien invader is classified as the most invasive in the world, damaging marine life.

Among the most infamous IAS in the Philippines are the American bullfrog and the golden apple snail or golden kuhol, which have displaced indigenous species in natural habitats.

The IAS conference was organized by the DENR’s Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

According to ERDB Director Sofio Quintana, the conference served as an avenue to the technical experts to verify the list of IAS, including their potential threats and impacts.

The eradication of IAS, he said, was in line with “Target 9 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity.”

Aside from the Philippines, other Asia-Pacific nations that presented their research papers during the conference were India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States and Vietnam.

The Philippines was represented by experts from the DENR-BMB, University of the Philippines-Los Baños, ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, and Food and Agriculture Organization-Philippines, among others. #

Nanawagan si Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu sa lahat ng eksperto at mananaliksik sa Asia-Pacific region na magkaisa upang makabuo ng solusyon na makapipigil sa negatibong epekto ng Invasive Alien Species (IAS) sa biodiversity at sa kapaligiran.

“I stand firm in promoting convergence of our research and development (R&D) efforts for a sustainable region-wide management of (IAS),” sabi ni Cimatu sa kanyang pagtanggap sa mga delegado ng international conference sa IAS management na ginanap sa Maynila noong Hulyo 9 hanggang 11.

“Let us continue with our pursuit for research-driven strategies and policies to effectively manage and conserve biodiversity for the good of humankind,” dagdag pa nito.

Ang tatlong araw na pagtitipon na tinawag na “IAS Conference 2019” ay nagtipon ng mga eksperto, mananaliksik, dialogue partners, environmental managers at iba pang stakeholders mula sa Asia-Pacific region.

Sa kanyang pangunahing talumpati na binasa ni DENR OIC Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus at Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Ricardo Calderon, idiniin ni Cimatu ang pangangailangan ng sama-samang pagsisikap upang mabigyan ng solusyon ang IAS na sumasalakay at sumisira sa “nature’s ecological balance.”

“These IAS pose serious environmental concerns and are among the major threats to biodiversity,” pagdidiin pa ni Cimatu. “They cover a wide gamut of ecosystems from the terrestrial to aquatic environments, irreversibly impacting on biodiversity, agriculture, as well as food and water security.”

Ang IAS ay maaring halaman, hayop, pathogens at organismo na hindi nagmula sa isang ecosystem at maaring magdulot ng pinsala sa ekonomiya, kapaligiran at kalusugan ng mga tao.

Ayon sa International Union for Conservation of Nature, ang IAS ay species na mabilis na dumadami mula sa kanilang pinanggalingang lugar at nagbibigay ng panganib sa biological diversity. Ito rin ang pangalawa sa mga dahilan ng biodiversity loss sa buong mundo kasunod lamang ng habitat destruction.

Maliban sa Antartica at glaciated Greenland, 17 porsiyento ng kalupaan sa buong mundo ang sinasakop na ng IAS.

Ang mga IAS ay matatagpuan sa mga bansa sa Asia at Pacific kabilang na dito ang Pilipinas na naka-apekto sa pangunahing kalupaan, wetland, coastal, marine at estuarine ecosystems ng rehiyon.

Sa agrikultura, ang IAS ay ang mga tinatawag na non-indigenous weeds, pest, insects at iba pa na sumisira sa mga pananim at alagang hayop.

Para naman sa freshwater environment, ang kilalang “invasive species” ay ang carp na nagmula sa Europe na matatagpuan na ngayon sa halos lahat ng sulok ng mundo. Ang “alien invader” na ito ang tinaguriang pinaka“invasive in the world” na nakasisira sa marine life.

Sa Pilipinas, ang kinikilalang IAS naman ay ang American bullfrog at ang golden apple snail o mas kilala sa tawag na golden kuhol. Ang mga ito ay nagiging dahilan ng pagkaubos ng indigenous species sa kanilang natural habitat.

Ang IAS conference ay inorganisa ng DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) at pinondohan ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Ayon kay ERDB Director Sofio Quintana, ang naturang conference ang naging paraan ng mga technical experts upang makumpirma ang listahan ng mga IAS kabilang na ang posibleng banta at epekto nito.

Dagdag ni Quintana, ang pagpuksa sa IAS ay naaayon sa “Target 9 ng Aichi Biodiversity Targets sa ilalim ng Convention on Biological Diversity”.

Bukod sa Pilipinas, kabilang din sa mga bansa sa Asia Pacific na nagbahagi ng kanilang research papers sa conference ay ang India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States at Vietnam.

Kabilang sa mga kinatawan ng Pilipinas sa ginanap na IAS conference ang mga eksperto mula sa DENR-BMB, University of the Philippines-Los Baños, ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, at Food and Agriculture Organization-Philippines. ###

Magiging punong-abala ang Pilipinas sa gaganaping 22nd ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) Meeting na dadaluhan ng mga top forestry officials ng Southeast Asia namay layuning palakasin ang regional cooperation sa larangan ng forestry.

Gaganapin ang pulongsa Hulyo 15 hanggang 20 sa Makati City na inoorganisa ng Forest Management Bureau (FMB) ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), kung saan magsasama-sama ang forestry leaders mula sa sampung miyembro ng ASEAN upang talakayin ang sustainable forest management at ang tinatawag na “transboundary” forest threats.

Ito rin ang magiging simula ng isang taong chairmanship ng bansa sa malaking forest conference at iba pang inisyatibo sa buong rehiyon.

Simula Hulyo 15 hanggang 16 ay gaganapin ang 22nd meeting ng ASEAN Working Group on Forest Products at tatalakayin ditto ang pagpapalakas sa kooperasyon ng mga bansa para sa forest product development upang makahanay ito sa pangkalahatang batayan na nangangalaga sa kapaligiran, lipunan at ekonomiya ng regional forest at forest resources.

Susuportahan din ng gaganaping pagpupulong ang pagpapaunlad sa medicinal at aromatic plant industries kabilang din ditto ang konserbasyon habang patuloy itong ginagamit.

Ang anim na araw na ASOF event ay magtatapos sa pagtalakay sa mga kasalukuyang isyu na nakaaapekto sa forestry at forest product na may temang “Forestry Beyond Forest.”

Kabilang din sa mga tatalakayin ang Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), ecotourism at ang mga benipisyo na nakukuha ng mga komunidad mula sa PES.

Ang PES ay idinesenyo upang mabago ang mga nakasanayan ng tao na nakasisira sa kapaligiran nangsagayon ay makapagbigay ng makabuluhang serbisyo sa iba na makatutulong sa pagpapaunlad ng “environmental conditions.”

Sa usapin ng forestry, ang PES ay tumatalakay sa isang kasunduan sa isang tao o grupo kung saan ay kinakailangan nilang magtanim ng mga puno bago magputol nang sa gayon ay matulungan ang komunidad sa pangalagaan ng kagubatan habang sila ay kumikita.

Ang kagubatan ay nakatutulong sa “Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) na inilabas ng United Nations. Kabilangnaditoang SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation for all People); SDG 13 (Climate Action) at SDG 15 (Life on Land).

Simula noong 2010, tinatayang aabot sa 6.840 million hectares ang forest cover sa Pilipinas.

Sa pamamagitan ng Executive Order 26 na inilabas ng gobyerno para sa implementasyon ng National Greening Program (NGP), ay naragdagan ang forest cover sa bansa na mayroong 1.5 bilyong puno sa 1.5 milyong lupa simula 2011 hanggang 2016.

Noong 2015 nang inilabas naman ang EO 193 na nagpapalawak sa NGP hanggang 2028, layunin nito na maisaayos ang mga nasirang kagubatan na tinatayang aabot sa 7.1 million hectares.

Nitong 2018, dahil narin sa pakikipagtulunga ng ng DENR sa ibang government agencies, private sectors at stakeholders ay nagkaroon na ng rehabilitasyon ang 1.9 milyong ektarya ng mga nasirang kagubatan at nakapagbigay na rin ito ng trabaho sa 600,000 katao sa mga komunidad at umakyat na rin sa 28 percent ang nagkaroon ng forest cover sa bansa sa pamamagitan ng NGP. ###

Southeast Asia’s top forestry officials will gather in the Philippines this month for the 22nd ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) Meeting that aims to strengthen regional forestry cooperation.

The meeting, slated for July 15 to 20 in Makati City and organized by the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), will bring together forestry leaders from the 10-member ASEAN to discuss measures toward sustainable forest management and addressing transboundary forest threats.

It also marks the start of the country’s year-long chairmanship of the biggest forestry conference and initiative in the region.

From July 15 to 16, the ASEAN Working Group on Forest Products will hold its 22nd meeting with focus on enhancing regional cooperation on forest products development and getting ASEAN countries align with global standards that address the environmental, social and economic integrity of regional forests and forest resources.

The meeting also supports the development of medicinal and aromatic plant industries, including their conservation and sustainable use.

The six-day ASOF event will end with an international seminar on current issues affecting forestry and forest products, which carries the theme: “Forestry Beyond Forests.”

The topics include Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), ecotourism as a viable mechanism in sustaining biodiversity, and the benefits gained by forest communities from PES.

PES is an instrument designed to change practices of people that damage the environment so that they can provide valuable services to others and help improve environmental conditions. 

In forestry, PES may involve entering into an arrangement with people or groups where they will be paid a certain amount to plant trees instead of cutting them down.  This gives them a source of income while they help increase forest cover. 

Forests contribute to the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set by the United Nations. These include SGD 6, Clean Water and Sanitation for all People; SGD 13, Climate Action; and SGD 15, Life on Land.

As of 2010, the Philippines’ total forest cover was estimated at 6.840 million hectares. 

To increase the country’s forest cover, the government—by virtue of Executive Order 26—implemented the National Greening Program (NGP) which aimed to cover 1.5 million hectares of land with 1.5 billion trees from 2011 to 2016. 

In 2015, EO 193 was issued extending the NGP until 2028 in a bid to rehabilitate the remaining unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands estimated at 7.1 million hectares.

As of 2018, the DENR—together with other government agencies, private sector and other stakeholders—has rehabilitated 1.9 million hectares of denuded forestlands, employed over 600,00 people in upland communities and increased the country’s forest cover by as much as 28 percent through the NGP.

The government’s flagship reforestation program also serves as a measure for poverty reduction, resource conservation and protection, productivity enhancement and climate change mitigation and adaptation. ###