THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Negros Island Region (NIR) urged Negrenses to support programs for the preservation, protection, and conservation of endemic species in the island.

DENR-NIR Director Al Orolfo, who led the Earth Day celebration on April 22 at Robinsons Place Bacolod, said that most of the indigenous species in NIR are "90 percent endangered."

Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Councilor Em Ang, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (Penro) head Edgardo Rostata, and Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation executive director Lisa Marie Paguntalan also joined the Earth Day event with the theme "Environmental and Climate Literacy."

The Earth Day is being celebrated every 22nd of April all over the world.

"We need support on environmental programs because all of us are involved in terms of environmental management. It is our responsibility to protect the environment," he said.

He added most of the indigenous species like the warty pig, spotted deer, among others, are now endangered.

Orolfo said the DENR is going to have a partnership with Bacolod City for the implementation of a three-year urban forestry program.

The mayor was already authorized by the City Council to sign a memorandum of agreement with the DENR-NIR, he said.

Orolfo said they will create green corridors within the city, but the priority is the endemic species.

"We are going to make Bacolod not only a green, but also a biodiversity- friendly city," he added.

For his part, Leonardia said the DENR will give one million seedlings to Bacolod for the launching next month.

"This will elevate the level of environmental consciousness and awareness, and love for trees of the people," he said.