• A different cup of tea

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    British volunteer joins Philippine marine conservation
    “A tropical country rich in biodiversity—lots of islands with tropical forests—and vast marine ecosystem.”

    These are the factors Petros Persad considered in choosing Philippines as the first country to start his new journey.

    Persad, 27, is a graduate of Zoology from the Queen Mary University of London. He has a passion for animals and the environment, and enjoy photographing them. In college, his focus was reptiles where his dissertation was about the status of the black caimans in the Amazon.

    During and after college, Persad was involved in different research projects with several nature conservation organizations. He had visited to Madagascar, Peru, Honduras, and before he arrived in the Philippines, he was participating in bat conservation in Greece.

    As a nature advocate, he wants to explore more about the richness of the environment in different parts of the world. With this, he is currently volunteering as part of the research team of the Haribon Foundation.

    The team is working on a nation-wide marine project for “Marine Key Biodiversity Areas” in the Philippines, and Persad has been given the opportunity to join as an assistant. He was also able to join a Birdwatching activity in Las-Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat & Ecotourism Area wherein they surveyed different bird species.

    For over a month, Persad got to know the different departments in Haribon, especially the research team. He has learned more about the different ecosystems in the Philippines and the problems that the country faces through illegal logging, illegal fishing and mining operations. When asked about how was his experience so far, Petros has this to say:

    “I have really enjoyed my time with Haribon Foundation since starting, everyone in the office and been so friendly and accommodating. I have learnt a lot not just about the environment and biodiversity of the Philippines but about the people, food and culture here. Every day I look forward to my daily Tagalog lessons over lunch and although I am definitely not a master of the language yet, I’ll definitely have a few key phrases under my belt by the time I leave!”

    Persad has really been enjoying his volunteer time at Haribon. He is just one of several volunteers and interns that the organization welcomes to work hand in hand for environment conservation efforts. From research, communication, marketing, forestry, and graphic design, almost everyone with a particular set of skills and passion for saving the planet is encouraged to share their talents and ideas with Haribon.

    “Haribon is a great organization to volunteer for, being one of the oldest environmental conservation organizations in the Philippines. Being a membership organization it gives the opportunity for members of the public who are interested in conservation issues to get more hands on and be involved with the environmental issues that they are passionate about. They also work in a wide variety of fields from forestry to marine biology and of course back to where it all started with work on the Philippine eagle.” he concluded.

    (Do you want to know more about our country’s rich biodiversity? Are you a nature advocate? Join us in our efforts to make this planet healthier by protecting nature and preserving life. We only have one planet to live in. Become a member, volunteer, or intern today by emailing Ana “Nikki” Almazar at volunteer@haribon.org.ph or by visiting Haribon.org.ph.)

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