To provide up-to-date information on the changing state of Philippine birds, Haribon Foundation, the Philippines’ pioneer environmental organization, launched the book State of the Philippine Birds (SOPB) on August 7 at Greenbelt 5 in Makati City. The book aims to raise awareness, appreciation, and serve as guidance in developing better strategies for the conservation of birds in the country.
It is part of the worldwide program of BirdLife International called “State of the World’s Birds.” The program provides updated, scientifically credible, relevant, and accessible materials that can support effective conservation action, learning and advocacy at the global level.
Present during the book launch were the organization’s Board of Trustees led by Haribon Chair John Philip Lesaca, members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, corporate partners, and nature enthusiasts who, in one way or another, contributed to the production of the book.
Dr. Margarita Lavides, Haribon’s research department manager, opened the pages of the book with a brief introduction and history, while a video featuring Philippine Birds was played for a better understanding of their current state.
One of the book’s technical advisers, Arne Jensen, country representative of Wetlands International, also gave his message of support.
Limited copies of the book were given to Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, Biodiversity and Management Bureau Director, Arne Jensen, project manager of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, Anabelle Plantilla, Celine Santilla from BirdLife Asia, and Richard Smedley and Alex Stuart of the International Rice Research Institute. Contributors and partners also received their copies.
Filipino singer and songwriter Joey Ayala tapped every one’s innate love and respect for nature with his songs, especially Haring Ibon (Philippine Eagle), allowing the audience to connect to nature through his music.
Students from Sentrong Paaralan ng mga Agta from General Nakar in Quezon showcased their culture and artistry with their performance. Haribon has been working closely with the Agta-Dumagat tribe for the past years.
Haribon Trustee, Mr. Alejandro T. Flores Jr. ended the night with a reminder for the conservation and protection of the country’s biodiversity, and let the birds be free, for they deserve a place here in our country.
Haribon Foundation and BirdLife International hope that the State of Philippine Birds will motivate and inspire both Filipinos and international bird enthusiasts to take part in promoting the welfare of the country’s great avian heritage, aptly symbolized by the majestic Philippine Eagle.
The full version of the State of the Philippine Birds book can be accessed and downloaded at www.bit.ly/sopb2014.