our philippines is a heaven but an endangered one

ed is the new chair of the foundation for philippine environment (FPE) this year. he started his stint with a set of questions : has FPE brought the discourse on biodiversity to the development discourse? has FPE communicated to many citizens the role of the Philippines as one of the most important countries for conserving diversity of life on earth ? are we developing the strongest movement for conservation ?

i read the Final report on Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Policies 2002. i was excited ! now we can tell everyone why we should be proud PINOYS. our archipelago , all 7100 islands have the THE Mega diversity sign. we are one of two countries that harbors more diverse life per hectare in the world. the other is Madagascar. literally we are sitiing in heaven and when you count all the 52177 species ( known as of now), more than half is in our country and nowhere else in the world.

when you go to the key conservation centers of USA , AUStralia , SOUTH aMERICAo r the environmental heritages in our planet- amazon river or the pacific deep, the megadiversity of life in such places cannot match our own country ! we are the principal haven of all known species. this is the GOOD news.

the BAD NEWS is – our people and govrnment is failing to conserve this megadiversity and we are now the number one HOTSPOT. we are so endangered that every parcel of land converted, cultivated into modern habitats eg. condos, malls, golf clubs, etc. translates into the loss of unique life forms.

what shall we do ? as a start, we should get in touch with N4N, the Network for NATURE and set into motion priorities for conserving our natural heritage. we should tell our LGUs, our churches, our schools, all the community leaders to study and inform our families about the RED LIST, all the species that are found endangered. we should spend more time learning about the islands, our lakes, our forests, our valleys, our watersheds – all the things that make up our natural heaven. our schools should hold each year a festival of conservation, from the species in our garden, farms, parks, seas shores, in every ecotourism spot we know of.

also we should engage the business sector and make conservation a core value. every business that makes money in conserving heaven ( that is tagging megadiversity for people to pay attention), we shall support. any business that adds to the hotspot, endangers angels of the earth ( tags for (our endemic species) and kills the web of life, we shall stop.

we should elect candidates who have good environmental records – have been able to lead conservation in her/his province, district i sland, town, city. if she or he has been part of the logging business, has developed mining interests, have been polluting the air, sea and or land, then we shall not give her/him our vote. we should tell her/him why and how it can be redressed.

each day we can breath clean air, drink clean water and smell the roses, let’s thank our angels for such blessings. may the earth beneath our feet, the skies above and the wind around us keep us alive and well. amen.

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