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PIA Press Release

Biodiversity Summit in Davao Region set

Davao City (26 November) -- To protect and conserve the Davao Region's Biodiversity, specifically the Davao Gulf which helps sustain the Region's PhP 6.5 billion eco-tourism industry, the Davao Medical Society in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Environmental Governance Project (ECOGOV) will hold the Biodiversity Summit this November 25, 2010, 9:00 o'clock in the morning to 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon at Marco Polo Hotel, C.M. Recto Avenue, Davao City.

This Summit on Davao Region Environmental Conservation is focus on Biodiversity being our life support system. It is an outcome of the series of consultations among the health, tourism and environment as well as the public and private sectors. These are the groups that pooled their resources and collaborated for this summit in order to drumbeat their unflinching efforts to conserve Davao Region's biodiversity.

It will participated in by various LGUs coming from the four provinces and various municipalities in Region-XI, NGOs, Academe, Youth sectors, media practitioners, among others.

DENR Regional Executive Director Jim O. Sampulna is urging all sectors to support this activities. "The success of this activity will demonstrate everybody's commitment to save the environment and biodiversity.

Sampulna disclosed that the Davao Region is rich in biodiversity. And Davao Gulf, for example, is one of the identified key biodiversity areas in the world that currently faces serious threats. Davao Gulf's deterioration will contribute significantly to biodiversity loss. The ecosystems around the Davao Gulf is home to thousands of life species.

The health sector believes that conserving the environment and it's biodiversity directly benefits health of individuals as lack of proper management of solid waste and wastewater can contaminate both surface and underground sources of drinking water resulting in various diseases. Unmanaged waste also cause disease-carrying insects to thrive, thereby endangering public health.

Conserving the environment and biodioversity directly benefits the tourism sector too. Local tourism often flourishes in area where biodiversity is rich. For example, clean beaches with rich species of fish, coral and other marine life is an excellent site for divers while forests with good cover and rich in flora and fauna are ideal places for researchers, trekking, among others.

Overall, conserving the environment and biodiversity ensures a good resource base for sustainable economic development. The 308,000 hectare Davao Gulf region ranks highest in the country's aquaculture production, generating and estimated PhP 669 million (USD 14.4 million) in earnings and roviding employment to nearly 19,000 commercial and municipal fishermen.

Other primary partners are Department of Tourism, Department of Health, Davao Region Tourism Council, Federation of Davao Region Chambers of Commerce and Marco Polo Hotel. (DENR-XI/PIA) [top]

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