Youth urged: Contribute in biodiversity conservation

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- Students from Pampanga were urged to contribute in biodiversity conservation and natural resources management.

The call was made during the recent Kilos Kabataan para sa Saribuhay [Biodiversity] forum organized by the Philippine Information Agency and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Luzon.

The event was participated in by some 90 students from National University Clark, Holy Cross College-Pampanga, City College of San Fernando Pampanga, and Our Lady of Fatima University Pampanga Campus.

During the forum, DENR officials urged the youth to

plant trees and mangroves, participate in river and coastal cleanup and rehabilitation, and conserve energy and water.

The agency cited that Central Luzon makes a huge contribution to the country’s rich flora and fauna, like the Northern Sierra Madre forest monitor and the Philippine Eagle in Aurora.

The agency also cited the Rafflesia consueloae (the smallest among the giant Rafflesia flowers) habitat at the Pantabangan-Carranglan watershed in Nueva Ecija; and the forests of Subic Bay and Bataan where the world’s largest bats including the giant golden crowned flying fox and the large flying fox are found.

The DENR also mentioned Mount Arayat, in Pampanga which is home to 49 species of trees and plants, 86 species of birds, 14 species of mammals, and 11 species of reptiles.

Another is Mount Tapulao in Zambales, the second largest mountain in Luzon, which has 305 species of plants and 141 species of animals, including seven insectivorous bats, three of which are endemic in the country including the yellow-faced horseshoe bat, large-eared horseshoe bat, and orange-fingered myotis.

The DENR highlighted the coasts of Bagac and Morong in Bataan, and the beaches of Aurora which are known nesting grounds of three out of five species of marine turtles (olive ridley, hawksbill, and green sea turtle) in the country.

The agency said the waters of Bataan and Zambales is where the Tridacna gigas, one of the world’s largest shells are found.

The DENR said that most of these species are threatened due to climate change and illegal human activities such as poaching, wildlife trade, and fishing.

“What does this mean is that you [the youth] have a voice and you need to use it. You need to use your voice to speak up for our biodiversity that can’t speak for itself, literally. The grave effects of climate change in the country’s biodiversity calls for collaboration among stakeholders in protecting the planet. And the youth sector can make a big contribution in biodiversity conservation as it comprises about 30 percent of the country’s population," the DENR stressed.

The youth may become young storytellers by utilizing the Internet and social media to promote the country’s biodiversity by producing content and stories, joining organizations, or even forming their own organizations and champion biodiversity.

For students, responding to the call for the conservation of biodiversity should be beyond the campus, the DENR said.

For campus journalists, stories about the environment should serve the community and the society at large.

"The youth can also do their part in reducing, reusing, and recycling; refusing potential waste sources; and participating in environmental dialogues. The younger generation holds the key in shaping and transforming the country’s future, including the environment," the agency said.


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