The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Provincial ENR Office of Negros Occidental and Community ENR Office of Bago City, Cadiz City and Kabankalan City, together with the Local Government Units (LGUs), officials and employees of the Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP) conducted a tree planting activity on August 14, 2022 at Gawahon Ecopark, Victorias City, Negros Occidental.
A total of one thousand (1000) Narra Seedlings were planted in celebration of the seventeen (17) years proclamation of NNNP as protected area.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 6 now have fifteen (15) Protected Areas and six of those were legislated, with the recent proclamation of Sicogon Island Wildlife Sanctuary (SIWS), which was added in the category of wildlife sanctuary under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS).
Republic Act (RA) 11933 or the Sicogon Island Wildlife Sanctuary Act, described the area as located in the northern part of Iloilo within the municipality of Carles and with a total land area of 283 hectares, composed of two parcels (Parcel 1 with 251 has. and Parcel 2 with 32 has.) spanning the three Brgys. of Buaya, San Fernando and Alipata, Sicogon Island.
“Having established its popularity since the early 70s, many tourists both local and international have been visiting Sicogon Island and this calls for the need to protect and properly manage the flora and fauna population which are native and distinct in the island,” said DENR 6 Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran.
“The enactment of RA 11933 was sponsored by Senator Cynthia A. Villar and one of the proponents of House Bill 9328 is our 5th District Representative Raul C. Tupas. With this, the DENR 6 and other stakeholders, are now given assurance of the conservation, protection, management and rehabilitation of the Sicogon Island Wildlife Sanctuary (SIWS),” he added.
Based on the Protected Area Suitability Assessments (PASA) conducted by DENR 6’s Conservation and Development Division (CDD), there are two additional areas in the region aside from Sicogon Island which possess the characteristics worthy of becoming legislated Protected Area in the near future. Once legislated, the concerned Protected Area is given the necessary funding for their sustainable protection. The DENR CDD 6 team is still working on it for those potential areas for their legislation as protected area.
Sicogon Island has an estimated area if 1,160 hectares, it has twelve fresh water springs which are the source of drinking water and day to day use of the estimated 5,238 residents.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Community ENR Office of Cadiz City together with the City ENR Office of Escalante rescued male Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) at Guiwanon, Old Poblacion, Escalante City on August 01, 2022. Both teams together with the Bantay Dagat released the turtle in Escalante Bay Marine Sanctuary after securing it’s in good condition.
The turtle was reported to the City ENRO of Escalante by a concerned citizen on July 31, 2022. It was found out to be wounded and unable to swim after it was accidentally entangled in a fisherman’s net.
Green Sea turtle is one of the largest sea turtles and the only herbivore among the different species and is classified as Endangered (EN) species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Aside from bees, land and water animals, flying foxes too, play an important role in seed dispersal and pollination. As such, they keep native forests healthy. What makes flying foxes unique in this regard is that they are highly mobile and moved seeds locally and over great distances.
A conservation forum on Flying-foxes was conducted from July 1-6, 2022 at Mambukal Resort and Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is situated in Murcia municipality where Flying-foxes also inhabit.
Organized by the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the DENR together with the Mabuwaya Foundation Inc. and the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (PhilBio), the Forum also discussed practices that support Flying-fox conservation and regulate hunting of the species and establish standard monitoring protocols for flying fox roost site counts.
In Negros Occidental, Flying-foxes have sites in Hinoba-an, Murcia, San Carlos and Sagay Marine Reserve. In Mambukal, at least three species have been identified, namely: Golden-crowned Flying-fox, large Flying-fox and the common island Flying-fox.
Governor Eugenio Jose "Bong" V. Lacson and Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Raul Lorilla gave their messages during the opening program of the National Workshop on Flying-fox.
Also present were OIC-PENRO Joan Nathaniel F. Gerangaya, CDS Chief Rosie Pablico and invited participants to the workshop composed of experts involved in the flying fox conservation in the country, DENR focal persons and local stakeholders.
The partners and beneficiaries of ProCoast Project, implemented in the Philippines through the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), explored Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR) last July 5, 2022.
The event was part of the 4-day learning visit of replicate sites in Region VI assisted by ProCoast, and was attended by partners from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), delegates from DENR-BMB, DENR-FASP, DENR Regional Office VI, implementers and practitioners of locally-managed MPAs from Region VII, and representatives from the academe.
PENR Officer For. Edgardo Rostata spearheaded the activity, which commenced with a brief tour and orientation at TINMR Information Center. The team then proceeded to Piagau Island, TINMR where a short program was conducted. The delegates immersed through the exquisite features and natural grandeur of TINMR through a tour at the Mangrove Boardwalk, Look-out Tower and View Deck at Piagau Island. The tour continued at Balas Balabag and Floating Cottage at Masai, where the activity was formally concluded.
TINMR is one of the Centers of Learning (CoLs) supported by the ProCoast Project entitled “Sustainable coastal protection through biodiversity conservation in coastal ecosystems affected by typhoons in the Philippines”. Through its partnership with GIZ-ZSL, TINMR has been endowed with assistance and interventions consisting of IEC drives for the Flagship species, Social Marketing Campaign Program, TINMR Business Plan, webinars and trainings, equipment for biophysical assessment- all intended to foster and strengthen TINMR’s capacity to be a Center of Learning./DENR6