The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) of Albay and Sorsogon, Energy Development Corporation (EDC)-Bacman Geothermal Project, Albay Parks and Wildlife (APW) and the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA) celebrated the World Wildlife Day (WWD) with the theme, “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet” on March 3, 2021 at the EDC Bacman, Manito-Sorsogon and Albay Parks and APW. 

This year, at least 10 Brahminy Kites (Haliastur indus) were released at the EDC-Bacman at Sitio Palayan Bayan, Barangay Nagotnot, Manito, Albay. The Brahminy Kites were those turned over and rescued by the DENR and were taken cared of at the Albay Parks and Wildlife, Legazpi City.

Mr. Leon Bejer, Jr., head of the EDC Bacman Production expressed his gratitude on behalf of the EDC to the DENR for being their active partner in the pursuit of protection and management of the environment. 

Meanwhile, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Guinobatan led the release of three (3) Philippine Serpent Eagles (Spilornis holospilus) at the foot of Mt. Masaraga Watershed Forest Reserve (MMWFR).

Dr. Pancho Mella, the OIC, Provincial Veterinarian of Albay said that there is a need to maintain and sustain the protection of wildlife species. “There are four threats facing wildlife conservation and these are illegal wildlife trade, habitat destruction, invasive species that grow and reproduce rapidly and climate change,” he added.

Moreover, in support to the BINHI project of the EDC, tree-growing activities were also conducted wherein endangered native and endemic tree species were planted by the participants at the EDC-Bacman and at the APW Arboretum. The BINHI project of the EDC supports the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP) of the DENR, which aims to reforest denuded forest areas and vacant lands.

In addition, a Brahminy Kite and Philippine Long-Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis philippensis) were also released to its natural habitat in Irosin, Sorsogon on March 4, 2021. The said wildlife species were those turned over and rescued by the DENR and were taken cared of at the Irosin Temporary Wildlife Rescue Center in Irosin, Sorsogon.  Also, two (2) Philippine Serpent Eagles (Spilornis holospilus) were also released at the Mt. Isarog National Park (MINP) on March 5, 2021.

In PENRO Camarines Norte, fifty-three (53) Amboina Box Turtles (Cuora amboinensis) and a Philippine Long-Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis philippensis) were also released in celebration of the WWD.

A coastal cleanup and Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) was also conducted by the PENRO Masbate and CENRO Mobo at Barangay Luyong Catungan, Mobo, Masbate.

OIC, Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Technical Services Atty. Ronnel C. Sopsop in his message thanked the participants and the stakeholders-partners of the 2021 WWD.  “What we need is values formation for the public so there will be change in the status of the Philippine environment. We at the DENR, are intensifying the protection of these wildlife species through different activities,” he said.

The WWD is celebrated every third of March annually to raise raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival.