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How Long Will It Be ‘More Fun in the Philippines’?

The Philippines is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity. However, many human activities have posed threats to the natural beauty of the Philippine flora and fauna. Some of the environmental dangers that haunt the Philippine archipelago are habitat loss, climate change, unsustainable and excessive use of resources, invasive alien species and the prevalent pollution in different forms. They have significantly caused the decline in mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass, forest and freshwater ecosystems.

Have we focused so much on presenting the good side of our country and turned blind eyes and deaf ears to the cry of Mother Nature? The ‘diseases’ we have given her are not those that can be cured overnight. We are slowly killing her with excessive mining, irresponsible waste disposal and illegal logging and fishing activities. It is much easier for us to exploit our natural resources than to bring them back to their richness and pre-industrial age health. To reverse the trend means years of hard work in attempting to bring balance and revive the dying natural beauty of our forests, mountains and waters.

How can we say that it is really fun in our country if the tourist spots we promote, like Boracay Island, are no longer as clean as they were before? We are so proud of the coral reefs in our seas, yet we don’t have ample protection for them. Coral reefs are the rainforests of the seas. They serve as home to various marine species, providing them with food, nutrients and protection. Unfortunately, corals do not grow as fast as we kill them through excessive and illegal fishing. For several marine species, loss of their habitat leads to loss of their species, thus dramatically harming the marine biodiversity.

Another major cause of habitat loss for several animals is deforestation, which is due to unmitigated logging and urbanization. DENR shared that around 2 percent of Philippine forests is lost every year. Also, according to a recent study, only about 4 percent of the Philippine forests remain as natural habitat for endemic species. Is it really fun to leave these animals homeless and see their species become endangered and eventually become extinct?

Urbanization has led to more industrial activities that required the use of more medicinal and ornamental plants as well as wild animals for trade and domestic use. Over-harvesting of these resources has seriously affected the balance in the biosphere. Infrastructures have also affected the biodiversity directly by leading to more pollution through their operations and disturbance of the ecosystems, and indirectly by encouraging more developments that may undergo activities that are harmful to the environment.

Thus, as long as we strive for developments that do not take into consideration the effects in our environment, we are in for more decades of pollution and further decrease in biodiversity. The fun will be over soon for the Philippines if we Filipinos do not take the necessary actions to reverse the environmental mistakes we have been repeatedly doing.

Sources:

Kristine L. Alave. “’Hottest’ of biodiversity hot spots found in the Philippines”. Philippine Daily Inquirer. (Posted on May 31, 2011). Retrieved on May 7, 2012 from http://globalnation.inquirer.net/2790/%E2%80%98hottest%E2%80%99-of-biodiversity-hot-spots-found-in-philippines
“Threats to Philippine Biodiversity”. New Conservation Areas in the Philippines Project. Retrieved on May 7, 2012 from http://www.google.com.ph/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CJoBEBYwAw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.newcapp.org%2Fpdfs%2Fdownload.php%3Fname%3Dphilipppine-bio-diversity%2FThreats%2520to%2520Philippine%2520Biodiversity.pdf&ei=fb-nT5OsE8aziQeupYCtAw&usg=AFQjCNFp6u6Wvwh5AUzQCwQx-46sI4DE7w&sig2=cc04UHw-ad3m9STlcvTyrg

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