For the past 30 years, the Haribon Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, Inc. has been working on the preservation of Philippine forests and marine ecosystems and promoting biodiversity conservation through protected area management.
But biodiversity loss continues due to irresponsible policies.
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Haribon cites facts to show those irresponsible policies:
* In the Philippines, there are only less than 18 percent forest cover left, but we need at least 45 percent to be sustainable in our basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.
* The Philippines is part of the critical coral triangle that nurtures marine life in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, only about 5 percent of our coral reefs are in excellent condition.
* About 90 percent of the A,B,C residents of Metro Manila regard floods and air pollution as the most immediate environmental concern. Less than 3 percent understand that the root cause of floods and air pollution is the deterioration of watersheds of primary rainforest. One important indicator of loss of watersheds is the depletion of biological diversity.
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To help people understand what environment protection and conservation mean, Haribon Foundation is launching a major awareness campaign to celebrate biological diversity; sad to say, very few people know that the Philippines has one of the highest degrees of diversity on the planet – and people must do something or stop doing bad things to preserve that diversity. The campaign consists of city-wide tour beginning at the Alabang Town Center July 4-10; going on to Shangri-La July 11-17, and on to Rockwell PowerPlant August 19-25. State-of-the-art technology will bring across complex concepts in a manner people will understand.
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The exhibit will consist of video shows, photo exhibits, digital stations, diorama stations, a children’s zone, membership and information desks and merchandise and souvenir stations.
Among the video presentations will be that on the Philippine eagle, a film courtesy of Neil Rettid, re-edited by Butch Perez, scripted by Krip Yuson, and music courtesy of Joey Ayala’s Agila. A Haribon message on the eagle behind bars will have voice-over by Randy David.
There will be a seven-minute slide show of forest images presented on a large monitor in a tented environment, within which a nature setting and ambient sounds heighten the sensory experience of being there. This visual poem, according to Haribon, explores the idea of man’s interdependence on the rainforest.
Another interesting feature will be the water cycle, which consists of a large interactive, moving diorama enacting water’s endless circulation from ocean to atmosphere to earth, and how human intrusions assist or disrupt this cycle.
Still another of many activities will be the children’s zone, which will feature storytelling with music and drama by prominent citizens of Manila, accompanied by solo flute or guitar. There will be arts and crafts and educational games and coloring corner.
The mall tour promises to be exciting and informative. Bring the whole family to watch it and help save this planet from complete destruction.
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Responding to my column on books on Mindanao, a reader called our attention to three significant books on the subject. These are Making Mindanao by Patricio Abinales (available at Ateneo de Manila University Press), The Philippine-American War by Prof. Samuel Tan (available at UP University Press), and Mindanao Statecraft and Ecology by Eric Casiño (available at Solidaridad Bookstore).
If you have books on Mindanao, you may want to donate them to the Center for the Promotion of Peace and Development of Mindanao, a not-for-profit, public-service entity located at 5280 San Luis St., Putho, College, Laguna. The Center’s objective is to provide assistance towards the advancement of the interest and cause of peace and progress of Mindanao. Research and studies, lectures and seminars (among them on the situation of Muslim women) will be among its activities. Donations of office equipment and furniture, computers and the like will be appreciated. Please call 049-536-7622, or 631-1466, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.