Did you know that?

March 3 is the World Wildlife Day.

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.


In the late 1990s, the rate of deforestation in the Philippines was 100,00 ha every year, leading to the release of 8.8 tons of carbon a year[1].

[1] Lasco (2007) as cited in Patricio, J.H.P & Tulod, A.M. (2010). Carbon sequestration of Benguet pine (Pinus Kesiya) plantations in Bukidnon, Philippines. In  Journal of Nature Studies 9(1)


Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia, Australia, Mexico, Peru, China, the Philippines and India are both in the lists of the top 12 megadiverse countries in the world and the top 25 nations with endemic languages[1].

[1] Toledo, V.M. (1999). Indigenous Peoples and Biodiversity. Retrieved at


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, is the legally binding agreement on the use and conservation of biological diversity.

The Convention provides the framework for 196 parties to guide efforts to conserve, and sustainably use biological diversity and equitably share the benefits from the use of genetic resources.


The traditional practice of swidden agriculture is considered one of the most sustainable practices in the world. The traditional practice of swidden farming or slash and burn entails cutting of vegetation in a specific plot then burning the rest of the foliage. The ashes left serve as nutrients for the plants to be planted. After harvesting, the plot is left to fallow for more years for the forest to regrow. This was proven in Thailand where the Karen communities proved that their traditional way of practicing swidden agriculture was able to sequester almost 750,000 tonnes of carbon over an area of 3000 hectares, while burning only released 400 to 500 tonnes of carbon[1].

[1] Leahy, S. (2012). Traditional slash and burn agriculture sustainable solution to climate change. In National Geographic. Retrieved at


October is Indigenous Peoples' Month.

Presidential Proclamation Order No. 1906, series of 2009 that declares every October National Indigenous Month based on the constitutional mandate of recognizing and protecting the rights of indigenous cultural communities geared towards national unity and development.


The Philippine archipelago was estimated to be 90% forest. Under the Spanish colonization, it went to 70%, then to 50% by 1950, after the American and Japanese colonization. Post-war, the logging operations of the minor elite and the attendant expansion of agriculture further facilitated the destruction of forests in the country. Now it is estimated that only 17-18% of the Philippine land area and forested.

Source: Bankoff (2007) as cited in Suarez, R.K. & Sajise, P.E. (2010). Deforestation, swidden agriculture and Philippine biodiversity. In Philippine Science Letters, 3 (10), pp. 91-99. Online version accessed at