95 endangered hawksbill turtle hatchlings released in Albay

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 6, 2019   •   1014

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol has reported 95 hatchlings of hawksbill sea turtle were released in the waters of Sitio Imacoto Cagmanaba, Oas, Albay on Wednesday (Sept 4).

The hawksbill turtle or Eretmochelys imbricata is among the critically endangered sea turtles in the world.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the hawksbill turtles are among the marine creatures that help maintain the health of coral reefs.

“As they remove prey such as sponges from the reef’s surface, they provide better access for reef fish to feed.  They also have cultural significance and tourism value,” the WWF said.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Guinobatan Officer Narisol C. Divina appealed to the public to be their partner in protecting marine turtles to save marine life.

“The DENR needs the concern and support of the community and stakeholders on the protection of our marine biodiversity to scale up the Pawikan conservation program of the Department,” she said.

READ: DENR releases endangered sea turtles in Boracay to celebrate Ocean’s Month

According to the DENR Bicol, the coastal waters of Sitio Imacoto, Oas is part of the Ticao Burias Pass Protected Seascape (TBPPS), a marine protected area with very rich marine biodiversity, which offers a suitable nesting habitat for sea turtles.—AAC

Female sea turtle found dead in Legazpi City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 11, 2020

A female green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found dead along the shores of Purok 7, Barangay Arimbay in Legazpi City on February 9.

Residents of Purok 7 found the dead turtle in its decomposition stage. She measured 75 centimeters in length and 71 centimeters in width.

“The Office through the Conservation and Development Division (CDD) immediately responded and documented the green sea turtle before it was buried in the shores of the same barangay,” according to DENR-Bicol.  

“Based on the findings, the turtle might have been entangled in a fishnet causing the lacerations on its neck, which resulted in its drowning,” the post further reads.

DENR-Bicol reiterates that marine turtles are protected by law and catching them will be punishable by imprisonment.

They also called on the public to turn over any wildlife to the authorities.—AAC

DENR Bicol rescues Lesser Frigatebird

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 29, 2020

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol has rescued a Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel) at Barangay Dapdap, Bulusan, Sorsogon.

In a Facebook post, the DENR Bicol said two fishermen saw the female wildlife struggling to fly along the coast of Barangay Dapdap.

DENR Bicol, through the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Sorsogon, assisted in the interview, inspection, proper assessment and recovery of the wildlife species.

The wildlife was turned over to Irosin Wildlife Rescue Center for temporary shelter, rehabilitation and recovery before its release to the wild.

“The female Lesser Frigatebird has a wingspan measuring 1.72 meters with a long forked tail and a massive curved tip bill,” the DENR Bicol said.

Lesser Frigatebird is a seabird commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters across the Indian and Pacific Oceans as well as off the Atlantic Coast of Brazil.—AAC

COA flags DENR over failed National Greening Program

Marje Pelayo   •   January 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s National Greening Program launched by the Aquino Administration in 2011 is a five-year project which aimed at planting 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of forest land in the country.

However, based on the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) in December 2019, only 12% of the target area has been planted up to this date.

Based on COA’s assessment, there was a problem with the former administration’s strategy and planning as the number of personnel was smaller as compared to the scope of the job.

Most trees ended up dying due to lack of care.

Some may have survived but they are among trees fit for agroforestry such as cacao.

“Ang pinakamalaking problema talaga is maraming hindi nag survive. Bakit hindi nag survive? Iyong wrong timing of planting, tapos wrong species and at the same time, of course, ang climate change (The biggest problem really was many didn’t survive. Why? Due to wrong timing and wrong species. At the same time, climate change),” the official explained.

At present, COA said, only about 7M hectares remain as forest land in the country which is only about 41.5% as compared to the scope of forest lands in 1934.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said there is no use blaming the former administration for what happened to the program.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said they are now working on ways to accomplish the program’s target.

“Magkakaroon ng impounding area for water and soil para lang sa pangangailangan nitong NGP natin, (We will establish impounding area for water and soil as required by the NGP,)” he said.

“This are the preparations na hindi nila nakita noon, (which they failed to note in the past,)” he added.

COA explained in its report that indeed immediate action is necessary to accomplish the program but it careful planning is also important.

The DENR agrees and is planning to reach out and seek the help of the communities in the target areas.

“Ngayon community based tayo. Itong community na ito kung ilang ektarya ang kaya niya, doon tayo. Hindi sapilitan ang gagawin, (We will do community based approach. We will determine how many hectares a community can accomplish planting. It will not be mandatory,)” Antiporda explained.

The officials said they are prioritizing bamboo for the initial phase of the tree planting as it easily grows and has variety of use.

COA recommends the use of drones to accurately identify the target areas for tree planting. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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