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Monday, May 20, 2019

LGUs agree to protect biodiversity hotspots

BIODIVERSITY. Key biodiversity areas in Cebu are habitats of endemic wildlife, like the Black Shama and the Cebu flowerpecker. (Photo from the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation, Inc.)

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 and nature conservation groups urged other local government units in Cebu to help efforts in conserving key biodiversity areas (KBAs) in their territories.

Al Orolfo, DENR 7 Protected Areas and Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service technical director, said the municipal governments of Dalaguete, Alcoy and Argao are drafting measures for more effective wildlife conservation.

He said the towns expect to pass their local legislation early next year. “The three will be the models of other towns in the province,” he added.

Boljoon Vice Mayor Fred Awe asked the DENR and conservation groups Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE)and Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (PBCFI) to help the local legislative council pass a conservation ordinance.

The vice mayor said DENR and the groups can draft the proposed ordinance. “We wouldn’t know what to put there (draft), so we need your help,” he said during the open forum on the symposium-workshop on Cebu’s key biodiversity areas (KBAs).

Contribution

Lisa Marie Paguntalan of PBCFI said local government officials can contribute a lot in determining KBAs since they are familiar with their territories.

KBAs in Cebu provide habitat to endemic plants and animals, like the Black Shama and the Cebu flowerpecker.

KBAs in Cebu are: Mt. Capayas in Catmon, Carmen, Danao, Asturias; Central Cebu Protected Landscape in Balamban, Cebu City, Compostela, Liloan, Danao, Talisay City and Minglanilla; Mactan, Kalawisan and Cansaga Bay in the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, and in Consolacion town; Olango Island in Lapu-Lapu City; Nug-as and Mt. Lantoy in Alcoy, Argao, Dalaguete and Boljoon; Mt. Kangbulagsing and Mt. Lanaya in Alegria and Malabuyoc

Based on 2006 surveys, the DENR identified a total of 128 KBAs for 209 globally threatened species, 419 endemic species (freshwater fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals), and 62 species of birds.

In 2009, the number rose to 228 KBAs, including marine biodiversity sites. These KBAs represent known habitat of 855 globally important species of plants, corals, molluscs, elasmobranchs, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals in the country.

During the workshop yesterday, representatives from different local government units identified KBAs in their areas, existing interventions and challenges affecting conservation efforts.
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