For the love of nature: New book promotes PH biodiversity

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 17 2020 01:19 PM

Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and University of the Philippines-Diliman’s Institute of Biology launch the “Wildlife Treasures” book. Handout

MANILA – Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and University of the Philippines-Diliman’s Institute of Biology (UP-IB) recently unveiled a book that promotes the protection and conservation of the environment.

Titled “Wildlife Treasures,” the book is the brainchild of the late UP-IB head Dr. Perry Ong and chronicles the biodiversity in EDC’s power plants all over the country.

It features a total of 291 birds, 43 bats, 25 other mammals, and 46 reptiles and amphibians, almost half of them endemic to the Philippines.

“Doc Perry’s passion and dedication to wildlife conservation inspired us to raise the bar on biodiversity conservation. As a result, our policies and budgets changed, and so did our focus. And so began a long-term partnership with Perry and the UP-IB biodiversity teams we have had the privilege of working with,” said EDC president and COO Richard Tantoco during the book launch.

“‘Wildlife Treasures’ is Doc Perry’s personal choice for the title of this book, and it seems appropriate that Perry names yet another one of his passion projects,” he added. “Perry taught us to treasure the wildlife around us and reminded us of our duty as Filipinos to preserve what we have for future generations.”

The book launch at the UP-IB auditorium also served as a tribute event for Ong, who passed away last year. His wife, Dr. Susan Aquino-Ong, spoke on behalf of the late scientist to thank all those who have supported his environmental efforts, while his son Leandro gave a musical performance.

Also present at the event was Ricardo Calderon, assistant secretary for climate change and concurrent director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau. He stressed that biodiversity conservation is “a shared responsibility and not the job of one government agency, or an NGO, or any organization.”

“The book ‘Wildlife Treasures’ is clear proof that development does not always come at the expense of our environment, as evidenced by how the diverse wildlife have thrived within EDC’s geothermal reservations,” Calderon said.

“The documentation of these wildlife would definitely strengthen our understanding in developing strategic policies and development programs for biodiversity conservation,” he added.

EDC and UP-IB are set to donate copies of “Wildlife Treasures” to universities and other institutions, groups, and individuals to encourage more people to commit to environmental protection.

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