DENR leads local celebration of Int'l Day for Biological Diversity

The unveiling of the highly anticipated museum dedicated to enhancing the appreciation of the country's rich biological diversity and the holding of the first-ever "biodiversity congress" will mark this year's local celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDBD) on May 22.

The twin events are hosted and organized by the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with the University of the Philippines, Office of Senator Loren Legarda and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

An attached agency of the DENR, BMB is responsible for the protection and conservation of wildlife species and their habitats.

BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim expressed hopes the Museum of Philippine Biodiversity located inside the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) in Quezon City would help awaken the interest of the public on the importance of conserving biodiversity.

The museum, which will have a press launch on May 22, will feature six protected areas representing the different and unique terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the country.

The artworks to be displayed in the museum are interactive and experimental, showcasing the effects of current environmental issues.

"It is with utmost hope that this museum will encourage people to do something for our precious biodiversity," Lim said.

"A museum of hope and pride, the Museum of Philippine Biodiversity aims to touch people's senses to widen their perspectives and deepen their understanding in appreciating the biodiversity's sublime beauty, as well as ignite their will to participate in conserving it," she added.

A permanent installation art created by Luis "Junyee" Yee Jr. will also be unveiled during the event. Titled "Ugnayan," the artwork represents the 21 countries comprising the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC, and their unity and cooperation in pursuit for common goals in various fields.

Also on May 22, the three-day National Biodiversity Congress will open at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas Center. The event, which will run from May 22-24, carries the theme, "Upwelling of Lessons, Sustaining Community Benefits in the Conservation of Landscapes and Seascapes."

Lim will be one of the presenters on Day 1 of the biodiversity congress, while DENR Undersecretary Annaliza Rebuelta Teh will deliver the welcome remarks.

Day 1 will also feature the launch of three major BMB programs namely: the Philippine Biodiversity Action Plan 2015-2028; the Philippines’ Voluntary Commitments on SGD Goal #14, Ocean Conference; and the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) 2017-2018.

On Day 2, Senator Legarda and Secretary Veronica Victorio of the Climate Change Commission will make presentations on the policy agenda for building community resiliency.

Day 3 will feature discussions about climate justice and biodiversity as a human right with Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines and Dean Tony Laviña of the Ateneo School of Government.

IDBD is celebrated every 22nd of May to promote awareness on the importance of biodiversity to the public. Being a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Philippines is one of the 196 nations that observe IDBD annually. ###