ArchivesDecember 2010Celebrating NegOr’s Biodiversity, Wildlife Conservation Month

Celebrating NegOr’s Biodiversity, Wildlife Conservation Month

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Our Negros Oriental Wildlife Conservation Council was created in 2003 via an Executive Order of the former Gov. George Arnaiz. Included in this EO was the declaration of the month of November as wildlife conservation month and continues to be celebrated today through the efforts of the council and its partners. The main objective of this annual celebration is to promote biodiversity conservation through wildlife preservation and protection.{{more}}

Our province of Negros Oriental, through the NOWCC (currently chaired by Vice-Gov. Roel R. Degamo) and its partners, has been engaged in several activities to promote education and awareness on the current status of our wildlife and biodiversity. It is important to note that a healthy biodiversity and wildlife is a key indicator of a healthy and balanced eco-system.

Pol Cariño of the Pederasyon sa Nagkahiusang mga Mag-uuma nga Nanalipud ug Nagpasig-uli sa Kinaiyahan Inc. (PENAGMANNAKI) and his colleagues at Friends of the Environment in Negros Oriental (FENOr) worked with Vice Governor Degamo and the NOWCC to get the activities started with proper funding. The activities were mapped out for the month of November but some are scheduled for December and 2011 to keep the momentum going.

In the afternoon of Nov 11th, we held a seminar on the Basics of Biodiversity by Jean Utzurrum, Integrated Water Resources Management by Judith Alpuerto, Threats to Biodiversity by Leo Mamicpic, Wildlife Monitoring and Evaluation by Pol Cariño and Environmental Justice by Atty. Mikhail Maxino. In attendance were our NegOr mountaineers, Provincial Environment Desk Officers, other PNP officers, the media and other guests. There were close to 275 attendees. Dondee Señeris of St. Paul University arranged for the use of SPUD gymnasium as our venue. This successful activity was co-hosted by Kapihan sa PIA and facilitated by Jenny Tilos.

On Nov. 13th, the 4th Wet & Wild Exhibit was officially launched at Robinsons Place in Dumaguete. The exhibit will run through December. FENOr along with friends from 350.org, Alpha Sigma Phi of SU and the mountaineering clubs all gathered the night before to setup the exhibit.

On Nov. 14th, a Wet & Wild awareness campaign was held at the Rizal Blvd. With gratitude to Roy Cang, the event kicked off with three mountaineers rappelling down the north side of Bethel Guest House while they unfurled our huge Biodiversity Is Our Life poster. This event was facilitated by FENOr with the Dumaguete City Government providing electricity, lighting and sound system. There were video presentations by 350.org, a clever skit on biodiversity by the Youth Advocates Through Theatre & Arts (YATTA), a relevant ‘trash’ion show by Youth of Iglesia Filipina Independiente (YIFI) and several tent exhibits by mountaineering clubs. The Dumaguete Kalikasan Performers opened the boulevard program with a rousing Drum Call that attracted and gathered many folks in the area.

Nov. 19th – our 5th Provincial Wildlife Conservation Quiz Bowl, facilitated by Jean Utzurrum and the SU Biological Society was held at the Moot Court of the SU College of Law. This competition was open to all high schools in the province. Represented were: Pulangbato NHS, Mabinay NHS, Valencia NHS, Camanjac NHS, SUHS, Sibulan Science HS, FUHS, Balugo NHS and NOHS. SU President Dr. Ben S. Malayang III emphasized in his welcome address that although this was a competition, it was important to reflect on the questions they could not answer; to gain and inculcate into our lives a thorough knowledge of biodiversity and wildlife conservation; and to clearly understand and exercise our role as stewards of our precious environment. Also on this day, a similar competition was held in Negros Occidental. The top three schools from each province will compete in the Island-wide Wildlife Conservation Quiz Bowl to be held in Bacolod on Nov. 25th. For NegOr, our top three schools were: SUHS, FUHS and Mabinay NHS.

Nov. 20th was our tree planting day in Lawigan, Bacong. Our guide for this activity was none other than expert local dendrologist Rene Vendiola shown at left photo with some “tree planters” behind him: The Lawigan tree planting is a continuing pet project of Bacong Mayor Lenin Alviola who has a team of LGU employees planting trees and doing tree-growing maintenance every Saturday morning. Since Bacong has no watershed, Mayor Alviola is seeing to it that trees (mostly endemic) are planted along the rivers and on hillside areas to help in the reforestation and conservation of a most precious resource, water.

The planters were colleagues and supporters of FENOr, UUCP, 350.org, SPUD students, mountaineers, and Bacong LGU employees. Many LGU employees were there early and had already dug up the holes to plant the trees in. And plant we did, a total of 350 endemic trees. We would like to thank Mayor Alviola for giving us the opportunity to be a small part of his truly worthwhile endeavor.

Nov. 25th — Wildlife Conservation Island-wide Quiz Bowl in Bacolod City. On Nov. 24th our NegOr contingent left for Bacolod. Our contingent was composed of six HS students/competitors, three respective teacher/coaches, and FENOr. We arrived ca. noon, had lunch and checked in at our designated hotel. Accommodations were courtesy of the Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation, Inc. (NFEFI). We visited the Biodiversity Conservation Center of NFEFI and were greeted by our host, Mimie Ledesma.

On Nov. 25th, we were at the NegOcc Capitol, the venue for the quiz bowl. We met the contingents from the Top 3 high schools of NegOcc along with their respective teachers/coaches. These were: Sta. Rosa of Lima HS, Mansilingan Agro-Industrial HS and Sum-ag NHS. We also met the team from NFEFI .

The results are in: 1st Place — Mansilingan Agro-Industrial HS; 2nd Place — Sum-ag NHS; 3rd Place — Foundation University HS; 4th Place — Silliman University HS; 5th Place — Sta. Rosa HS; and 6th Place — Mabinay NHS.

NFEFI, together with NegOcc Provincial Environment Management Office, hosted and facilitated the island-wide quiz bowl event. Next year, it will be Negros Oriental’s turn to host this island-wide activity.

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