Press Release
February 11, 2013

Legarda supports government's ecotourism boost

Senator Loren Legarda today welcomed the government's plan to boost ecotourism through a partnership project between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Legarda, a staunch environmentalist, said that the Philippines has already been hailed as the World's Center of Marine Biodiversity - the epicenter of biodiversity and evolution. However, the country is also one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots, with a large number of species that are endangered or threatened of extinction.

"It is sad to note that the unique biodiversity that our country is greatly blessed with is deeply threatened by irresponsible acts. But I am hopeful that this partnership project between the DENR and DOT will promote the natural attractions in our country while ensuring environmental conservation and sustainable development," she stressed.

The DENR-DOT project is called "Partnerships for Biodiversity Conservation: Mainstreaming in Local Agricultural Landscapes," which will primarily promote the natural wonders of Agusan del Norte, Aklan, Antique, Cagayan, Capiz, Davao Oriental, Negros Occidental, Occidental Mindoro, Quirino and Palawan.

Part of the program's goal is to educate tourists about the need to protect and preserve the environment, while generating livelihood opportunities that would encourage local communities to pursue sustainable development.

"We must refrain from undertaking activities that would result to loss of biodiversity such as land degradation, especially overgrazing and deforestation, as well as pollution, overfishing, hunting, species invasion, land-use change, and the overuse of freshwater," Legarda said.

"We are confronted with the task of protecting our country's unique but endangered biodiversity. Pursuing a kind of development that has genuine regard for the state of our natural wealth has never become more crucial than today. We would want to promote our natural resources, but the greater challenge is for all of us to make our environment cleaner, greener and safer for future generations," Legarda concluded.

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