Press Releases

KORONADAL CITY, November 23, 2023 โ€” In a significant stride for biodiversity research, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office-South Cotabato, led by Biologist Aljohn Jay L. Saavedra and former biologist Kier Mitchel E. Pitogo, has unveiled the discovery and description of a new orchid speciesโ€”๐˜—๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ข. The breakthrough occurred in the mossy forest, situated at an elevation above 1500 meters within the Mt. Busa Key Biodiversity Area.
Standing at 50 cm, the ๐˜—๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ข stands out with its distinctively bell-shaped or campanulate, crystal-white flowers. The initial sighting took place during the Biodiversity Monitoring System (BMS) conducted in the Allah Valley Protected Landscape (AVPL) back in 2021.
It is the first orchid species described from the Mt Busa Key Biodiversity Area, highlighting the importance of continued field biodiversity surveys in the biologically underexplored forests of southern Mindanao. Preliminary classification by the authors designates the new species as "Near Threatened," aligning with the criteria established by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), given the limited empirical field data available.
According to the BMS report, the AVPL hosts a rich tapestry of approximately 185 orchid species, with ๐˜—๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฑ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ข adding to the diverse flora. This discovery bolsters the ongoing process to include the AVPL as a full component of the National Integrated Protected Areas System pursuant to Republic Act No. 11038.
It can be remembered that on 9 August 2023, House Bill No. 5291 or the Allah Valley Protected Landscape Act of 2021 passed the first reading in the House of Representatives. This legislative effort underscores the urgency of safeguarding the newly discovered orchid species and the entire ecosystem of the AVPL. (Credits: PAMO-AVPL and PENRO SC IO Mobin Edsil) | ๐‘๐’๐‚๐ˆ๐†๐
๐Š๐Ž๐‘๐Ž๐๐€๐ƒ๐€๐‹ ๐‚๐ˆ๐“๐˜, ๐’๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก ๐‚๐จ๐ญ๐š๐›๐š๐ญ๐จ - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - 12 through its Mount Apo Natural Park Protected Area Management Office (DENR-MANP PAMO Cotabato) sighted and documented the critically endangered Philippine Eagle within the expanse of the Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) in Cotabato on October 27.
It was made possible by the combined efforts of the Protection and Conservation of Wildlife 2023 (Philippine Eagle Monitoring) activity funded by the Integrated Protected Area Fund-Retained Income Account (IPAF-RIA) which represents a critical turning point in the continuing conservation of this iconic national treasure.
In the afternoon of October 27, a lone Philippine Eagle was seen in MANP Cotabato of Region 12 which was about 1.5 kilometers northwest of the designated observation point. Depending on the quantity of prey in the area, the PH Eagle pair requires between 4,000 and 11,000 hectares of forest land to survive in the wild according to the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF). Positively, new reports of eagle sightings in the verdant area of MANP suggest that rehabilitation efforts for these majestic species may be strengthened.
Maintaining and restoring their habitats can be crucial to guaranteeing the survival of this severely endangered species. The team's ongoing monitoring activities serve as a critical component of the comprehensive conservation strategy implemented by the DENR-MANP PAMO Cotabato.
A reminder of the significance of protecting and fostering the fragile balance of natural ecosystems is provided by the sighting of the Philippine Eagle in the Mt. Apo Natural Park. Other raptors observed during the said monitoring activity were the endangered Pinskerโ€™s hawk-eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri), Philippine Serpent Eagle (Spilornis holospilos), and Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus). The Philippine Eagle Monitoring Activity was led by DENR-MANP PAMO Cotabato.
The members of the Philippine Eagle Monitoring Team included Deputy Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Shirley P. Uy, Focal Person Arnold Allen S. Chin, Lucky Jay Naquines, Jason Serrano, and Rufino Iday Jr.
The DENR-MANP PAMO Cotabato reiterates its dedication to preserving the variety of animals and natural environments that characterize the Philippines' diversity and beauty. # (With report and photos from DENR-MANP PAMO Cotabato) | ๐‘๐’๐‚๐ˆ๐†๐‰
๐Š๐Ž๐‘๐Ž๐๐€๐ƒ๐€๐‹ ๐‚๐ˆ๐“๐˜, ๐’๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก ๐‚๐จ๐ญ๐š๐›๐š๐ญ๐จ โ€“ Three (3) sea cows, commonly known as dugong (Dugong dugon), were spotted off Sarangani Bay on Wednesday (Oct. 25) during the quarterly seaborne survey of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 in Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS).
A lone dugong was spotted by the marine mammal monitoring team using a drone camera off the Seascape Beach Resort in Barangay Gumasa, Glan, Sarangani Province while a mother-calf dugong pair was documented swimming off Morales Beach Resort in the same village.
According to Ecosystems Management Specialist I Gary Cabinta, dugongs can be seen rarely in SBPS since they tend to avoid human contact. โ€œDugongs graze on seagrass and we might find them if we search their feeding grounds,โ€ he said. During the monitoring, Dr. Roy Mejorada, SBPS in-house veterinarian, observed that the mother dugong seemed relaxed while its calf was more active and playful.
In a statement, SBPS Protected Area Superintendent Joy Ologuin said that seeing healthy sea cows in Sarangani Bay gives them hope and the gentle giant sea mammalsโ€™ presence in the protected seascape reminds them that their efforts are not futile and they are actually making a difference.
In 2018, the SBPS Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) officially declared the Dugong as the flagship species of SBPS to enjoin coastal communities in supporting the protection and conservation of the Sarangani Bay.
"We ask the public to join us in conserving our natural resources. We have to act now to ensure a healthy environment for our future generations, "Sarangani PENR Officer Shalimar Disomangcop said. ### (With report and photos from DENR PENRO Sarangani) | ๐‘๐’๐‚๐ˆ๐†๐Œ
๐€๐‹๐€๐๐„๐‹, ๐’๐š๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐ง๐ข ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž โ€“ The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 and the local government unit (LGU) here have entered into an agreement on Monday (Oct. 16) to enhance and safeguard the remaining forest lands and ensure a sustainable and vibrant future for generations to come.
The memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing led by DENR-12 Regional Executive Director Atty. Felix S. Alicer and Alabel Mayor Vic Paul Molina Salarda marked a pivotal moment and a promising start in the process of legitimizing and gaining approval of Forest Land Use Plan (FLUP) of the said town.
For. Shalimar A. Disomancop, provincial environment and natural resources officer (PENRO) of Sarangani, commended the officials LGU-Alabel for their dedicated efforts in managing the municipalityโ€™s forest lands appropriately. He emphasized that the comprehensive plan formulated through the initiative aims to govern the sustainable management, development, and utilization of forestland resources for the welfare of both present and future generations.
Dr. Rosalinda B. Cortez, community environment and natural resources officer (CENRO) of Glan, extended her heartfelt appreciation and congratulations to the LGU for its remarkable achievement in formulating the FLUP.
Mayor Salarda expressed his deep appreciation to everyone involved in the crafting of the vital developmental plan. He said that the plan is the result of significant collaboration between the LGU, DENR, and local service providers and each contributor brought expertise, knowledge, and strong dedication in improving forest management mechanisms, demonstrating a collective effort to address a range of forest management issues.
Forest Management Bureau (FMB) Technical Bulletin No. 2 defined FLUP as the โ€œparticipatory process of allocating forests and forest lands as natural resource assets by the government under appropriate management, tenure arrangement and eventually putting these assets according to their best uses to harmonize uses of forest lands and to attain a balance of production activities with forest protection and biodiversity conservation.โ€ ### (With report from JCDumanon, CENRO Glan IO Designate & photos from Alabel IO and CENRO Glan) | ๐‘๐’๐‚๐ˆ๐†๐Œ
๐†๐‹๐€๐, ๐’๐š๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐ง๐ข ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐œ๐ž - The DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Glan unveiled several conservation plans to preserve and revitalize vital ecosystems within the region during the Mount Latian Complex-Local Conservation Area Convergence Startup in General Santos City on Friday, October 13.
During the event, CENR Officer Dr. Rosalinda B. Cortez presented comprehensive conservation plans for three pivotal areas: (1) Buayan-Malungon River Basin Management Plan, geared towards restoring and preserving the Buayan-Malungon River Basin, emphasizing the need for sustainable management practices to safeguard water resources and aquatic life; (2) Glan River and Lake Kapanglao Management Plan, focused on the restoration and maintenance of the Glan River and Lake Kapanglao which aims to enhance the health and biodiversity of these vital water bodies while promoting responsible tourism and local engagement; and Forest Land Use Plans of Glan, Malapatan, and Alabel which were unveiled to emphasize sustainable forest management and land use strategies in the said towns and designed to strike a balance between conservation efforts and the socio-economic needs of the communities.
The event showcased collaborative efforts for a greener future with notable figures like Gabby Mejia of Ayala Group Klima and Jane Boles of Ostrom Canada. Their active involvement underscored the significance of collaborative endeavors spanning both private and public sectors, aiming to drive substantial environmental improvements and promote a cleaner, greener air environment.
It was facilitated and organized by the Sarangani Province Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC) led by Director Cornelio Ramirez and was attended by Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Jay Ramos, Executive Assistant Ser Rosenkranz G. Espartero who represented Governor Hon. Rogelio D. Pacquiao, sangguniang panlalawigan members, representatives from National Commission on Indigenous People, provincial government of Sarangani, and local government units of Glan, Malapatan, Alabel, and Malungon.
Meanwhile, during the Tourism Stakeholders midyear meeting of the municipality of Malungon, an orientation on Land Classification and FLAgT (Forest Land Use Agreement for Tourism, CENRO Cortez stressed the importance of responsible land use and sustainable tourism practices, ensuring a harmonious coexistence of tourism and conservation goals.
โ€œOur tireless efforts to showcase these plans signify a significant leap forward in prioritizing conservation and sustainable practices. These initiatives promise to benefit both the environment and the community, underscoring a commitment to a healthier, more sustainable future,โ€ CENRO Cortez said. ### (With report and photos from JCDumanon, CENRO Glan IO Designate) | ๐‘๐’๐‚๐ˆ๐†๐Œ