The Philippines, known by the world as the Pearl of the Orient, is the largest archipelago country next to Indonesia. Consisting of more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines is home to 31,573 species of diverse plants and animals. 612 of which are birds, 111 are amphibians, 270 are reptiles, 330 are freshwater fishes, 21,000 recorded insect species that can only be found in the country, and 9,250 plant species. The nation is one of only a handful couple of countries that is, completely, both a hotspot and a mega diversity nation, putting it among the top need hotspots for worldwide preservation.

According to an article written by the Convention on Biological diversity, the Philippines is one of the 18 mega bio diverse countries in the world. The country ranks fifth in the number of plant species and maintains 5% of the world’s flora. Species endemism, the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, is high. Covering no less than 25 genera of plants and 49% of physical natural life, the nation also positions fourth in feathered creature endemism. The Philippines is likewise one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots with no less than 700 debilitated species, therefore making it one of the top worldwide protection regions.

Now that the fact has been laid down, that the Philippines is one of the most diverse country, the moral obligation to do something about the threats that the Philippine ecological system is facing falls on us. There are laws that protect the environment, and laws that prevent man from harming and killing endemic animals. Yet in the eyes of man, laws are nothing next to a bag full of gold. Poachers kill without remorse, as rare specimen can be sold at a very high price.

However, the threats that come before the ecological system is not always illegal. Indiscriminate logging and mining operations changes the landscape of the forests, and creates an imbalance in the ecological sustainability. The continuous growth of the human populace increases the demand for the conversion of forests into settlements and commercial areas. This then leads to the over-harvesting of resources – plants used for medicinal and aesthetic purposes, and animals for market and domestic use contributes to the degradation of habitat and drastic reductions in the population of endemic species. Along with the increase of urban communities come the development of infrastructure. Constructions of roads, water resources, and others directly disturb the ecosystem.

Given all these threats, there is a solution to preserve biodiversity in the Philippines, and that solution is you.

Written by Jhon Estorninos for: