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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, August 10, 2018
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Common strategy to save
flying foxes gets boost


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through the Biodiversity Management Bureau, wants to implement a common national strategy for the conservation of flying foxes in the Philippines, Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. executive director, Lisa Paguntalan said yesterday.

“The milestone is that the planning did not only involve DENR. It opens the venue for other stakeholders to participate in the conservation of flying foxes,” Paguntalan said.

The draft on the national strategy, aligned with the global biodiversity targets under the multilateral treaty of the Convention of Biological Diversity, was presented and reviewed by the bat experts present in the Southeast Asian Bat Conference that enabled yesterday.

DENR and the Southeast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit have identified six major goals for the Philippine Flying Fox Conservation Strategy and Action Plan.

First is the general conservation of flying foxes in the country – both the species and their habitats‒followed by the “emportment” against illegal activities at a national level.

“Next is the communication, education, and public awareness strategy. The goal is to change the negative perception towards bats,” Paguntalan said.

DENR also aims to focus on research about unknown and threatened species, strengthen the regional networks of flying foxes groups, and come up with resource mobilization and capacity building.

The strategies and goals agreed upon in the presentation are parts of a 10 year plan, spanning up to 2028.

“The validation and the organization is already part of this plan, but the actual effectivity will probably start on January 2019,” Paguntalan said.

Meanwhile, three university students from the Philippines took home awards for best student poster and oral presentations Wednesday at the SEABCO culminating event.

Poster award winners were: 1st place – Sammer Burgos, University of the Philippines Mindanao, Runners-up – James Alvarez of University of the Philippines Los Baños and KhinMohMohTun, University of Mandalay, Myanmar.

Sheherazade of the University of Florida bagged 1st place in the oral presentations, with CE Nuevo Diego of Prince of Songkla University in Thailand and Sherryl L. Paz of University of the Philippines Los Baños as runners-up.*JAB


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