Paje offers reward for arrest of Pamana’s killers

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje has offered a P100,000 reward for the arrest of those responsible for the death of Philippine eagle “Pamana”.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Pamana. This is not the first time that a Philippine eagle was shot to death. Those responsible for this barbaric act must be arrested and punished for committing this environmental crime,” Paje said.

He also said that while Pamana’s death was a setback to the country’s biodiversity conservation program, the government will continue to pursue its breeding program for the raptor through the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).

Pamana, a three-year-old female Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), was found dead by biologists from the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and forest guards at the Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS) in Davao Oriental last Sunday. A puncture and metal fragment on her right breast indicated she had died of a gunshot wound.

Paje has condemned the killing even as he called on law enforcement units in the province to assist regional environment officials in hunting down the perpetrators.

He said that the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Protected Area Management Board of MHRWS and the Philippine Eagle Foundation are now conducting a full investigation on the incident.

“We are distressed that, despite intensified awareness campaigns by various stakeholders, some people still have a blatant disregard for our natural heritage, which, sadly, is what Pamana’s name means,” he lamented.

The environment chief also urged local residents to help authorities track down the killers.

Paje said that the critically endangered Philippine Eagle is protected under Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. As such, anyone found guilty of killing wildlife species can be imprisoned from six to 12 years, with a fine ranging from P100,000 to P1 million.

Moreover, illegal hunting within the MHWRS, which is a protected area, is also punishable by a jail term of six years and a fine of up to P500,000.

Pamana was released within the MHRWS just last June 12. Ironically, she was rehabilitated by the PEF after DENR personnel had rescued her from gunshot wounds three years ago. 

In her necropsy report, PEF’s veterinarian Dr. Ana Lascano reported the bird was already in “advanced state of decomposition” when its carcass was found around one kilometer away from the release site in San Isidro, Davao Oriental. The estimated date of death was on August 10, when field workers observed that a transmitter attached to her back had stopped sending radio signals.

The Philippine eagle, hailed the “world’s noblest flier” by former aviator Charles Lindbergh, is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

There are an estimated 400 pairs remaining in the wild today. ### 

 

 

PH schools vie for Southeast Asia’s most eco-friendly learning institutions

Two Philippine schools are vying to be the most eco-friendly schools among member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The Dubinan Elementary School in Santiago City, Isabela and the Ateneo de Davao University’s High School Unit in Davao City will represent the country in the 2015 ASEAN Eco-Schools Awards for elementary and high school categories, to be held from July 29 to 30 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

The two schools were national champions in the 2013 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools organized by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Organized by the Government of Myanmar, in partnership with the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund and the ASEAN Secretariat, the 2015 ASEAN Eco-Schools Awards seeks to recognize learning institutions that demonstrate values of environmental sustainability and practices and carry out eco-friendly school policies, teaching programs and practices for the benefit of the school and surrounding communities.

This year’s competition was in line with the ASEAN Environment Year 2015 with the theme, “Empowering the Youth for a Green ASEAN Community.”

The criteria for the awards are divided into four: school policy and administration; teaching modules and learning activities; facilities and environmental practices; and partnership and community outreach.

The Dubinan Elementary School has been nominated for its strong obedience to and enforcement of environmental policies crafted to sustain the government’s programs, projects and activities.

Its teachers impart lessons on environmental protection, waste management, water and electricity conservation, anti-smoking and other pro-environment programs. Their lesson plans are being checked and a series of classroom observation and supervision are conducted to monitor the integration of environmental themes in the school’s curriculum.

Teachers were also trained on the different strategies and methods in teaching and in the preparation of instructional materials suitable to the environmental lessons and to the needs of the pupils.

Meanwhile, the Ateneo de Davao University-High School Unit’s environmental mission is to engage in ecosystems conservation, protection of biodiversity and promotion of renewable energy.

The school’s environmental program named “Ecoteneo” makes the vision of a green and sustainable campus and students living a happy, healthy and ecological lifestyle. It concurs with Ateneo’s slogan, which is “One with the Earth, at peace with humanity, in reconciliation with God.”

In a related development, the EMB announced that the regional and national screening processes for the 2015 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools are ongoing.

The competition is a direct response to Republic Act No. 9512, or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, Smart Communications Inc., Nestlé Philippines Inc., One Meralco Foundation Inc., and Land Bank of the Philippines.

For further details about the national search, please contact the National Program Secretariat at the EMB’s Environmental Education and Information Division at telefax numbers 9284674 and 3765610; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Websites: http://www.emb.gov.ph and http://www.sustainableschools.ph. ### 

 

 

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