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Legarda Urges Antiqueños to Protect Marine, Wildlife Species

March 2, 2019

On World Wildlife Day, Senator “Inday Loren” Legarda urged Antiqueños to protect marine and wildlife species, especially those found in Antique’s protected areas: the Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park in the border of the province and Aklan, the Sibalom Natural Park in Sibalom, as well as the rivers and marine protected areas in the province.

 

The World Wildlife Day aims to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year’s theme “Life below water: for people and planet” gives emphasis on marine life and its significance to human development.

 

Legarda, an environmental champion, said that the protection of marine and wildlife species plays a crucial role in the biodiversity conservation of the province.

 

“We must protect our endangered species of trees, marine animals, and wildlife animals to conserve the biodiversity of our beloved province. Let us preserve its beauty so that no future Antiqueño will have to carry the burden of not seeing it with their own eyes,” said Legarda.

 

There are several endangered species found in Antique and Panay Island: the Rafflesia speciosa flora, the Visayan Spotted Deer, the Visayan Warty Pig, the Panay Monitor Lizard, and the Visayan Writhed-billed Hornbill.

 

The Northwest Panay Peninsula Natural Park is home to the famous Tarictic Hornbill and Dulungan Hornbill. It is rich with lush forests and natural springs that are important sources of water and refuge for its inhabitants.

 

In 2016, Legarda funded the creation of the Pandan Arboretum and Eco-Park located at Barangay Santo Rosario in Pandan, Antique. It has a total area of 108,925 hectares with an arboretum for old-growth trees, a bambusetum (bamboo garden), a palmetum (palm garden), an orchidarium, and an herbarium.

 

“There are natural resources that one can only find in our province. Antiqueños are fortunate to be sharing this with a diverse group of marine and wildlife animals. However, we are also responsible for their protection. Let us not wait for the day when all these are gone and our children can only see them through imagination,” Legarda concluded.