DoA culminates Wildlife Week 2022

Written by Vince Albarillo
Illustration by Cedric David Cortez
Published 09 April 2022

Ateneo BOx’s Department of Advocacy launched this year’s Wildlife Week on March 14, a celebration of Philippine flora and fauna that aims to raise awareness for animal and plant welfare as well as raise funds towards rebuilding animal sanctuaries via a raffle promotion.

The project was led by Project Heads Rociela Quino and Finiella Mabasa, under the supervision of AVP for Bioactivism Chelsea Lagon.

Advocating for biodiversity

This three-week initiative promoted the organization’s advocacies through infographics, informative videos, and interactive prompts2

It culminated in a webinar last Saturday, named “Panunumalik: Restoring PH Biodiversity After Typhoon Odette,” which emphasizes the project’s advocacy3

“May you be enlightened with the current state of Philippine wildlife from our speakers, and be aware of our role as citizens, to not just become stewards of the ecological community, but carers for our common home,” Lagon said in her opening remarks.

Awareness to wildlife sanctuaries

Following that, Mr. Lorenz Gideon Esmero, representative for the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary (OIWS), sought to bring awareness to the current situation of OIWS Nature Center after Typhoon Odette in his talk.

OIWS, located in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, is a resting place for approximately 40,000 migrating birds from Siberia, Northern China, and Japan while en route to Australia during colder climates4.

Its nature center is responsible for monitoring the sanctuary’s biodiversity, ecotourism sites, and invasive species, as well as its maintenance and protection.

During Odette, approximately 80% of the center’s facilities were destroyed. Almost nothing was left of constructed structures.

“Nothing was left,” Esmero said, referring to various facilities in the center.

He reassured that the typhoon had no effect on the population of migratory birds and the damage to the mangrove stands would naturally recover.

They established and still continue maintenance, clearing, and relief operations. Monitoring of biodiversity and the creation of economic stimulus with a focus on ecotourism will be their way forward, he concluded.

OIWS is the beneficiary of this year’s Wildlife Week. A total of Php 20,000.00 was raised and donated to the sanctuary5.

Wildlife conservation

The next speaker, Erika Marie Teng Gui, is a young advocate for wildlife and plant conservation who works with various local and international non-governmental organizations in her advocacy.

She talked about her role in wildlife preservation and the steps needed in the process of the three R’s: rescue, rehabilitation, and release/rehome.

After talking about examples of rescued animals, she encouraged the audience to become wildlife conservationists.

“Honestly, everybody can be a wildlife conservationist. No matter what your talent is, you can contribute to wildlife conservation,” she said.

The speaker added that education and awareness are important in wildlife conservation and biodiversity protection.

For those who are interested, Mr. Esmero can be contacted at their center’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069324845033. Ms. Teng Gui can be contacted via email or her Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/erika_mari/

Conclusions

Towards the end of the webinar, the campus vlog showcasing the biodiversity of wildlife on-site was shared6.

The event then concluded with a message from Joan Lim, VP for Advocacy.

“We hope that you have gained self-awareness of the current situation of our wildlife in the Philippines, gained new insights, and learned to appreciate our wildlife even more after this event,” she said.

References

  1. Albarillo JV, Wildlife Week Team. Panunumalik: Restoring PH Biodiversity After Typhoon Odette Webinar. 2022.
  2. Ateneo Biological Organization – BOx Facebook page. “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, We meet Wildlife Week tonight!” [Internet]. March 13, 2022 [cited 2022 April 6]. Available from: https://www.facebook.com/AteneoBOx/posts/1764043780461937 
  3. Ateneo Biological Organization – BOx Facebook page. WHALE, Hello there, Wildlife Explorers!  [Internet]. March 29, 2022 [cited 2022 April 6]. Available from: https://www.facebook.com/AteneoBOx/posts/1774936082706040 
  4. About Us [Internet]. OIWS 2010. [cited 2022 April 6]. Available from: http://www.olangowildlifesanctuary.org/aboutus.html
  5. Ateneo Biological Organization – BOx Facebook page. WHALE look at the THYME [Internet]. April 9, 2022 [cited 2022 April 9]. Available from: https://www.facebook.com/AteneoBOx/posts/1782624875270494 
  6. Ateneo Biological Organization – BOx Facebook page. Has the pandemic been GIRAFFing you crazy?  [Internet]. March 28, 2022 [cited 2022 April 6]. Available from: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=515138940215439

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