Stewards of nature

CAN YOU imagine a world where your children will only see the Philippine eagle in photos, or the Philippine tarsier will just be part of stories that the older generation can tell their kids?

March 21 last week was the International Day of Forests? The annual observance was a reminder of the importance of forests and the protection of our biodiversity.

According to research, 90 percent of the Philippine archipelago was forested during the 1900s. Today the original old-growth forest remains at three to five percent. This has caused a ripple effect in which water, air and other ecological services have been compromised.

Are we on the verge of a biological meltdown?

According to the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the Philippines is ranked fourth in the world out of 19 ecological hotspots which indicate the highest concentration of biodiversity in the globe. Our country is blessed with rich biodiversity. This means we have the most to lose. The government must get serious about forest and biodiversity protection and in implementing a program to build sustainable communities that protect the environment.

We are dubbed as one of the megadiverse countries, being among the richest globally in terms of plant and animal species, and because of this we are also the biggest losers of environmental assault. The government and all concerned institutions and departments, especially the local government must come up with a strategy to create sustainable communities which will be able to use our biodiversity responsibly. Education is also vital in our bid to protect our biodiversity.

Let us get everyone on board. Each member of the community must be aware of what’s happening. We all stand to lose a lot from a biodiversity meltdown. Our responsibility is to protect our forests and undertake further efforts towards reforestation and biodiversity conservation. We must be accountable for the environmental impact of our actions.

Each of us has the responsibility to protect the environment. We should be stewards, not destroyers of nature.


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