Haribon completes training course to protect Naujan Lake
Environmental group Haribon Foundation had launched its Biodiversity Fellows Program, a training course for local leaders and environmental officers in towns surrounding the biodiversity-rich Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro province.
A three-day workshop was held for conservation leaders on effective management and protection of the park’s sub-watersheds in the towns of Naujan, Victoria, Socorro and Pola. The program was funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
Eugene Gonzales, of the Philippine-American Fund, said he and program participants were one in their quest for more knowledge about biodiversity and its importance. Biodiversity, he said, was simply “the diverse and connected cycle of life.”
The Naujan Lake National Park covers 21,655 hectares of land inhabited by threatened and endemic plant and animal species like tamaraw (Mindoro dwarf buffalo), Philippine pine, Mindoro warty pig, Philippine teak, Mindoro bleeding-heart pigeon and Philippine duck, which is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Despite their ecological importance, the park and its sub-watersheds are threatened by land-use conflicts, overextraction of resources and poor waste management.
“The protection of the mountains and forests that surround Naujan Lake is the focus of this training,” said Haribon project manager Noel Resurreccion.
Danilo Balete, research associate of the Field Museum of Natural History, spoke about the importance of understanding how ecology and ecosystems work to combat threats to the Naujan sub-watersheds.
Balete warned against destructive activities in the guise of development projects and plans.
He drew a line between consumption and productive use of natural resources. “Will you risk erosion after a typhoon for the sake of money?” he said.
According to a study by the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and the University of the Philippines, various forms of agroforestry and agriculture result in “unsustainable rates of erosion and reduced biodiversity.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.