BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu called for a global effort to save migratory birds that are at risk of extinction following the loss of habitat in their flight path and the changing climate. change.
His speech was delivered by Undersecretary Jim Sampulna of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources during the opening of the 2nd East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) Congress at L’ Fisher Hotel here on Tuesday, October 8.
The convention, which will run until October 11, will tackle the effects of climate change to wetlands and migratory waterbirds and to come up with management strategies to save the wetland habitat for sustainable urban future. It was participated by around 200 delegates from different countries such as Russia, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, United States of America, Cambodia, Japan, and Pakistan.
“While migratory waterbirds endure strong winds, harsh weather and numerous predators to fly thousands of miles, we believe that it is just imperative that we also come together, as one body, for a flyway-wide collaboration,” Cimatu said.
He stressed that the Philippines is a home to thousands of migratory birds. “We have 7 sites that were designated as wetlands of international importance, or Ramsar Sites, with a surface area of around 244,000 hectares, and that more than 70 other wetlands are also in the country,” he said.
He added that Philippines continuously serves as haven to more than 300,000 birds during the migration season.
Negros Occidental, the latest addition to the Ramsar Sites in the country, is home to a 230,000-hectare Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Conservation Area that covers 9 municipalities and a city, he said.
He said that due to habitat loss, changes in land use, and increased human disturbance, as well as climate change, play an adverse role on bird migration and affect their biodiversity.
“We are grateful that we have convened again renowned scientists, researchers, and environmentalists and undertakings about migratory birds and their wetland habitats. Conferences such as this provide us with a valuable opportuity to get our acts together,” he stressed.
He said it’s important to modify approaches to wildlife conservation and natural resources management in the protection of the migratory birds and the ecosystem. – Rappler.com
SAVE MIGRATORY BIRDS. DENR Undersecretary Jim Sampulna, local officials and participants of the 2nd East Asian-Australasian Flyway Congress at L’ Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City on Tuesday, October 8./Marchel Espina Photo