Forests are areas where most of the species of flora and fauna are found per square kilometres. It is the lungs of the planet that keep the carbon dioxide released by the animals and give oxygen released by plants which is need by humans.

This year’s World Wildlife Day 2021 with the theme, “Forests and Livelihood: Sustaining People and Planet,” as a way to highlight the central role of forests, forests species and ecosystems services in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people globally, and particularly of indigenous and local communities with historic ties to forested and forest-adjacent areas.

This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13, and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments in alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life land.

The celebration the international event at Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR) in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras last March 03, 2021 is just one of the venues for Department of  Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Western Visayas, other provinces has its own way of celebrating this global event.

Conservation and Development Division (CDD) staff, Forester Mary Ann Astete had briefed the partcipants who joined the on the importance of World Wildlife Day 2021 and the benefits of Forest Bathing.

On the other hand, Johnnys Gange, Park Foreman of TINMR, presented the different wildlife species that could be found within Taklong Island.

After the short lecture, Regional Executive Director Francisco E.  Milla, Jr.  and Provincial ENR Officer Vicente A. Sardina with the POs, Brgy. Captains of San Roque and La Paz, representative from LGU Nueva Valencia, and DENR 6 staffs from the regional and PENR offices, conducted a monitoring and inspection around the mangrove areas of TINMR and enjoyed communing with nature as well as appreciating and identifying the different flora and fauna within the marine park.

“Being able to experience this World Wildlife Day celebration in one of our protected areas in the region is something we need to treasure –the clean water, the fresh air, the biodiversities found in the area plus the mangrove forest bathing we observed,” said RED Milla.

“Surely, this environment of ours is the place where can go back and heal,” he added.

Other activities were paddle boarding/kayaking, island inspection, and coral reefs monitoring/diving.

 “Environmental programs and activities like these are worth documenting for the people of today to learn and appreciate, and for the generation to come,” said Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Group (RSCIG) Chief, Artemio Salvador C. Colacion.

Enhancing biodiversity conservation is one among the ten priority programs of Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu./DENR 6