March 3, 2017
On World Wildlife Day, Legarda Urges Youth Involvement in Conserving Biodiversity
In observance of World Wildlife Day (March 3), Senator Loren Legarda has called on the youth to take part in biodiversity conservation efforts.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Global Champion for Resilience, made the call in line with this year's theme, "Listen to the Young Voices", which seeks to engage and empower the youth to act to protect endangered wildlife.
"Biodiversity loss is caused mainly by habitat destruction and wildlife trade. The full force of the law must be applied on all wildlife smugglers, while treading the sustainable development path would help preserve species and natural habitats. The youth may become part of conservation efforts if we inculcate in them the importance of our biodiversity," said Legarda.
The Senator said that educational institutions and local government units (LGUs) must lead environmental conservation efforts that involve the youth especially that ecosystems decline and biodiversity loss will ultimately affect future generations.
Legarda said that under the national budget, all government agencies and offices and LGUs are mandated to ensure that protection of biological diversity is integrated and mainstreamed into their development projects and programs.
Meanwhile, environmental awareness and protection must be integrated in the curricula of schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs).
SUCs are also tasked to do a mapping and inventory of the biodiversity of the province or region where the campus of the SUC is located. This should be done in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and their respective LGUs.
Legarda also said that addressing climate change is very important in preserving wildlife species, noting that 30% of species would be at risk of extinction due to the warming climate.
"The Philippines is a mega diverse country, but it is also one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots, with a large number of species either endangered or threatened of extinction. There needs to be stronger convergence among government agencies and LGUs and collaboration with the private sector, civil society and all our citizens, including the youth, to protect our wildlife species and conserve our biodiversity," Legarda concluded.
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