DENR leads local celebration of World Wildlife Day 2018

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), will spearhead the local observance of the World Wildlife Day on March 2-4.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that the celebration is “a crucial step in promoting the protection of wildlife species in the Philippines.”

“We have various activities lined up for the World Wildlife Day to remind the Filipino people of their role in protecting and conserving the treasures of our natural resources,” Cimatu said.

The World Wildlife Day is celebrated on March 3, the day the landmark Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted in 1973. This year’s theme is “Big cats: predators under threat.”

The annual celebration, which started in 2014 following the declaration by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 20, 2013, aims to raise awareness of endangered animal and plant species, and ways to fight against wildlife crime.

The Philippines joins the global celebration as part of its commitment to the CITES, an international agreement to regulate worldwide commercial trade in animal and plant species.

Director Theresa Mundita Lim of the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) said several activities will be held to “maximize the opportunity to raise public awareness on the diverse wildlife resources in the country.”

The highlight of the celebration is the 5th Annual Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards, which recognizes private individuals and non-DENR personnel who have provided invaluable assistance and unqualified support to the agency in enforcing the provisions of Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The awarding ceremony will be held at the BMB Training Center Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Training Center at 10 am on March 2.

According to Lim, the DENR has conferred the award to 349 recipients for the past four years. 

“For this year, 25 brave men and women from various enforcement partner agencies will be formally commended for their invaluable and continuous dedication to wildlife law reinforcement from April 2017 to February 2018,” Lim said.

This year’s awardees will come from civil society organizations and law enforcement agencies, such as the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police.

“The awarding ceremony once again serves as a venue for the DENR to call for stronger support and greater commitment from each of the awardees and from their respective institutions and agencies to curb illegal wildlife trade,” Cimatu said.

The BMB will also be holding the 3rd National Wildlife Quiz Bee in the afternoon of the same day and venue, March 2 at 1:30 pm.

Lim said that the National Wildlife Quiz Bee is a knowledge-based competition and learning event that aims to encourage the target students to give attention to current developments in wildlife.

Participants of the quiz bee will be Grade 9 students from various public schools in the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.

There is also the Biodiversity Camp (BioCamp), which is one and half day learning event designed for the youth. 

The BioCamp aims to expose the participants to biodiversity conservation and to make them aware of their role in conserving biodiversity.

BioCampers will undergo informal learning approaches such as environmental games, skits or role-playing, nature walk, wildlife watching, and close encounter of selected species of wild animals. 

For this year, the BioCamp is dedicated for the 13-18 years old children of the officials and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. ###

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