BMB honors valuable partners in biodiversity conservation

The Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) has recognized eight individuals for their valuable contributions to the conservation and protection of the country's rich wildlife resources during the first-ever Biodiversity Recognition Awards held recently.

The event was part of the 30th anniversary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), of which the BMB is one of the line bureaus. Formerly known as the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), the BMB is the agency responsible for the protection and conservation of wildlife species and their habitats.

BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim said the first set of awardees was comprised of outstanding and dedicated individuals who have helped the bureau fulfill its responsibilities in the last three decades.

"We are a very small bureau compared to others, but we have a very wide reach because of our partners," Lim said.

"These achievements are not only because of the agency's efforts, but also because of those who have the same advocacies as our mandate and chose to work alongside us," she added.

The awardees and their contributions to biodiversity conservation and protection are as follows:

• Indira Dayang Lacerna-Widmann - conservation and protection of Philippine cockatoos, marine turles and pangolins

• Marites Gatan-Balbas - conservation of Philippine crocodiles

•Dr. Jayson Ibañez - Philippine eagle conservation

•Dr. Angela Nina Ann Ingle - conservation of Philippine bats

• Anna Oposa - coastal environment and resources protection

• Rainier Manalo - sustainable management and protection of crocodiles

• Marisol Abdurahman - media mileage of biodiversity conservation and protection of wildlife resources

• Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina - free utilization of Philippine Air Force aircrafts for biodiversity site visits and country-hosted, biodiversity-related conferences

Lim, meanwhile, expressed her gratitude to those, one way or another, contributed to the success of all the projects and programs initiated by the BMB during the last 30 years.

"This reward for good work is more work. The rewarding part also comes when we are able to see our accomplishments, which are a fruit of our years of hardwork, and they become recognized," Lim pointed out.

Lim also paid tribute to previous BMB directors whose achievements have been crucial to the foundation of the bureau, as well as to the dedicated senior officials who chose to stay despite job offers from other institutions.

The BMB chief added: "I'm also happy to see a lot of youth being an active part of BMB through the succession planning we are conducting. It is comforting to know that there are youth who are joining the DENR so that they can learn sooner."

The PAWB was created as part of the DENR through Executive Order No. 192 issued in 1987. It was renamed to BMB in 2013 as part of the government's rationalization plan. ###