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PhilinCon 
Philippine Initiative for Conservation of Environment and the People, Inc.
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Aims and scope
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In the Philippines, growth of the population with increasing need for land, water and food have led to overexploitation and devastation of ecosystems which are not only of scientific interest because the Philippines are one of the biodiversity hotspots worldwide, but which are also vital for economy and survival of the people.

Over the last few decades, destruction of Philippine nature had increased dramatically. In Mindanao, the 2011 disaster with almost 2000 inhabitants dead or missing after heavy flash floods caused by typhoon Sedong, and hundred thousands more left homeless, was partly due to deforestation of watersheds as one consequence of overpopulation and lack of protective measures, causing the water to run down the mountain too fast without being retained by forest cover. With global climate change leading to an increase in storm frequency and severity, the need for protection of the last intact ecosystems providing genetic resources for reforestation is evident.


Panayforest, water supply
Panay forest - important for climate and water supply. Photo: I. Frank, PanayCon

 

The island of Panay is home to last largely undisturbed remnants of rainforest ecosystems which are an essential genetic resource for reforestation for the entire Western Visayas region.

See the page of our project PanayCon about the importance of these forests.

To reverse the trend of destruction to the benefit of both humans and nature, several tools must be put to use, including a rigorous protection of the remaining environment flanked by restoration of a deteriorating landscape, specially reforestation, and efficient family planning along with an improvement of health and economic situation.

 

To achieve its objective, PhilinCon designs and implements projects, maintains research and laboratory facilities, and cooperates with local as well as national governmental agencies.

PanayCon (former PESCP), PhilinCon´s integrated conservation project, had quickly become community-based, trying to provide alternative livelihoods to rural families to diminish the need for unsustainable use of forest products and illegal hunting of wildlife. PhilinCon´s work involves the DENR, barangay councils and established Community Conservationists.

In addition, PhilinCon pays the salary and health insurances for local forest rangers who support the law enforcement agencies trying to stop illegal logging and poaching, and it is engaged in in situ protection of threatened wildlife by measures against poaching and illegal wildlife trade and by maintaining a facility for rehabilitation and release of threatened animals. 

 

The project´s conservation efforts focus on the NW Panay Peninsula where the last highly threatened stand of low-elevation forest had been discovered by our staff. Our work also included preserving the endangered writhed-billed hornbill (Aceros waldeni; local names: dulungan, kalaw), and other endangered, ecologically important wildlife.

 

Due to our advocacy the Panay peninsula was declared protected by the Philippine President in 2001. 

From 2000 on, we also got increasingly involved in the protection of forests on the Central Panay Mountain Range (CPMR) which is important for the regional climate and water supply and home to remnant populations of endangered endemic species including hornbills, Visayan spotted deer, cloud rats, Visayan warty pigs and the Mabitang, a large arboreal monitor lizard species described by PESCP coworkers in 2001. Plants in the region include Rafflesia lobata and many rare orchid species.

In 2008, the Central Office of the DENR, Philippine Government, instructed the Executive Director  of Regional DENR region 6 (Western Visayas) to designate the area as 'Critical Habitat' under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act. PanayCon was entrusted with the task to help assess the invaluable flora and fauna of these mountain forests. In the process, the team of PanayCon under scientific supervision of Prof. Curio is doing surveys and taxonomic research.


See also our PanayCon pages, for instance about community work, and PhilinCon project pages, for more information about our aims and work



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Philippine Initiative for Conservation of Environment and the People, Inc.
Last amendment: 25 July 2013