INTERNATIONAL DAY OF BIODIVERSITY 2010
 

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Philippines: A month of celebrating life

Announcement

Camps and More

The IBD Launch

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Video

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Announcement

Original announcement of the event on this website (April 2010)


Camps and More

The Province of Negros Occidental, in celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity, held a roster of activities throughout the month of May and closed with a bang on May 22, the International Biodiversity Day.


Throughout the month, seven environmental camps for students, volunteers, teachers and local leaders (Barrangay Captains) involved in environmental protection were organized in selected marine and terrestrial ecological pristine locations. For most participants its was the first systematic exposure to the unique Philippine Biodiversity, combined with a lot of fun and games-an overall success!


North Negros Natural Park

One of the last remaining intact forest reserves of the Province, the North Negros Natural Park in Silay City was the venue of two camps, May 14-16 for 24 students and youth beneficiaries of the province’s Integrated Social Forestry Program and May 20-22 for 45 forest guard volunteers.


Topics taken up during the lectures included (i) basic ecology; (ii) overview of Philippine biodiversity; and (iii) the forest and its importance. Activities for the youth included (i) habitat poster-making; (ii) the game web of life; (iii) making junk art from recycled material; (iv) tree planting; (v) identification of endemic plants and trees and (vi) commitment to Mother Earth. The hands-on activities included trekking and bird watching with discovery of endemic bird species such as the White Eared Brown Dove (Phapitreron leucotis), the Blue-Headed Fan Tail (Rhipidura cyaniceps) and the endangered Visayan Tarictic Hornbill (Penelopides panini).


Danjugan Island Marine Reserve

Two marine camps at the Danjugan Island Marine Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary were conducted from May 4-6 for 29 high school students from southern Negros, from May 13-14 for 33 Barangay Captains of Central Negros, and May 17-18 for 35 local leaders of Southern Negros.


The students were exposed to five of the island’s seven viable ecosystems and tasked to come up with a species list and conservation posters representing the ecosystem of their choice. During their snorkelling activity along the reef area, the participants had close encounters with the Banded Snake Eel (Myrichthys colubrinus), sea cucumbers, starfishes, corals and the endangered Giant Clams (Tridacna gigas). They also explored the island’s limestone caves which is an important habitat for the cave-roosting Nectar Bats (Eonycteris spelaea) considered as one of the “Vulnerable” bat species on the island. The participants were also able to observe the Island Flying Fox (Pteropus hypomelanus) and Little Golden Mantled Flying Fox (Pteropus pumilus) during night time as the bats would leave their roosts and pass above the camp area.


The adults were taught basic mangrove and seagrass ecology, survey techniques and were also familiarized with important mangrove species such as the Mangrove Apple or ‘pagatpat’ (Sonneratia alba), Rhizophora sp. and the canon ball mangroves (Xylocarpus moluccensis and X. granatum). They were also able to observe beds of Needle Seagrass (Halodule pinifolia), and the other tropical seagrasses Enhalus acoroides and Halophila ovalis. Other island vegetation included plants like Screw Pines (Pandanus spp.), Christmas Tree Palms (Veitchia merrily) and the threatened mangrove Philippine Bantigue (Pemphis acidula).


The participants also identified several bird species during their bird watching exercise namely: The White Breasted Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), the threatened scrub fowl “Tabon Bird” (Megapodius cumingii), Black Naped Orioles (Oriolus chinensis), Pied Fan Tails (Rhipidura javanica), Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis), Olive Backed Sun Birds (Nectarinia jugularis), White Collared Kingfishers (Halcyon chloris) and the fruit doves such as the Imperial Fruit Dove (Ducula aenea), and the Pinked Neck Green Pigeon (Treron vernans).


Sagay Marine Reserve

Sagay Marine Reserve and the Museo sang Bata sa Negros (Children’s Museum) catered two camps for 57 high school and elementary teachers from northern Negros (May 4-5) and 43 students (May 20-21). The camps included hands-on activities, including a visit to a children’s museum and snorkelling at Carbin Reef, familiarized both the young and old with starfish (Protoreastor nodosus and Linckia laevigata), mangroves (Rhizophora apiculata) and shellfish including the Tiger Cowry (Cypraea tigris), whose shells were one of the many remains washed ashore at Carbin Reef.


The campers also enjoyed their snorkelling activities at the Giant Clam Garden of the reserve, where they saw several endangered Giant clams such as Tridacna gigas, Tridacna squamosa and Hippopus hippopus amidst the corals and fishes of the reserve.


Biodiversity Exhibit

From May 17-21, a Biodiversity Exhibit was held at the Event Centre of the SM City Bacolod (the largest shopping mall in Bacolod City). More than 900 guests visited the exhibit, where also various NGOs, German development cooperation organizations (GTZ, DED, Weltwaerts, KfW) and the Provincial Environment Management Office contributed. Exhibits included shell collections, the IBD photo contest entries, posters and tarpaulins of on-going conservation efforts by various groups and film showing on biodiversity.


On May 17, the day of the opening, the IBD Mascot “Spotty” (for the endangered Philippine Spotted Deer Cervus alfredi, a keystone species of the Western Visayas Faunal Region) was launched and toured around the mall to invite kids and the general public to the book launch of a children’s environmental conservation book “Where is My Home” translated in the local dialect. Book reading activities by student and provincial staff volunteers lasted throughout the week-long exhibit.


The IBD Launch

On May 22, the IBD Launch began with a foot parade around the key public areas within Bacolod City. Participants included local government representatives, NGOs, schools, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, various provincial government offices and participants from the IBD environmental camps. A short program at the Provincial Capitol grounds followed, with keynote speakers delivering messages on biodiversity and its importance.


The IBD on-the-spot Canvass Painting Contest then took place until mid-afternoon, after which the Animo Puppet Theater gave a puppet show for the general public on marine conservation and waste management. A variety show ended the day with the participation of three bands, the West Negros University (theatrical performance) and the Weltwärts volunteer group. Dr. Walter Salzer, Senior Program Adviser of GTZ also gave his message on the Filipino-German ties for biodiversity conservation during the show. Winners of the IBD Photo and Canvass Painting Contests were announced and awarded. A short video about the IBD events has been made and will be posted on the  IBD website.


All in all, the Province of Negros Occidental can look back on some very successful events in conjunction with the IBD 2010 events, which opened the minds of participants and visitors from all sections of the Philippine society. Thus, the Province of Negros Occidental, on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines would like to express its gratitude to the Federal Republic of Germany for the contribution of funds and the chance to represent our country in this important international event, which hopefully has put us on the map of pristine spots of biodiversity.


Visitors are welcome anytime!


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Links

Further information


Media coverage (German)


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Downloads

Full_Report_Philippines_Biodiversity_Action_Day.pdf

A lively and entertaining report of the Biodiversity Action 'Month' in the Negros Occidental.

591 K

My_Biodiversity_Experience_-_Kisshia_Lhea_T_Torres.pdf

Essay by Kisshia Lhea Tanmoya-Torres, 15, participant of the students' biodiversity camp on Danjugan Island.

2.1 M

My_Biodiversity_Experience_-_Wilshane_Malagda.pdf

Essay by Wilshane Marie C. Malagda, participant of the students' biodiversity camp on Danjugan Island.

501 K

My_Marine_Camp_Experience_-_Che_Awacay.doc

Essay by Cheryl C. Awacay, participant of the adults' biodiversity camp on Danjugan Island.

2.7 M

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Video

Below is the first of three parts of the video on Biodiversity Action Day 2010 in Negros Occidental.
Please click on the following links to view  part 2 and  part 3.


Flash is required!

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Gallery

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Text and Photos: IBD Philippines Team
IBD Philippines Logo: Razcel Salvarita