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    Posted March 8, 2014 by

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    Phl official: Wildlife not our property

    PHILIPPINE Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje on Saturday urged the Filipinos not to treat wildlife species as personal property, citing that ongoing efforts to conserve the country’s flora and fauna will be futile if the practice continues.
    “The key is to change the way we think about wildlife. We should not look at them as our property, but part of God’s creation that we are meant to co-exist with here on earth,” Paje said in a speech delivered during the celebration of the World Wildlife Day (WWD) on March 3.
    The environment chief said the success of conservation efforts would depend on the way people perceive nature as he cautioned that using wildlife animals for “personal pleasure” defeats their important role in maintaining ecological balance and nature cycles.
    “While people may consider experiences with wildlife as part of their fondest memories, wildlife is not really meant for our enjoyment especially when extracted (from their habitat),” he said.
    The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been intensifying efforts to curb the illegal wildlife trade – which sources its contraband by smuggling usually threatened species for use as pets, food or alternative medicine – by tapping more partners in enforcing wildlife laws.
    This activity was evident in the recent apprehensions of illegally shipped wildlife in Southern Philippines.
    Although the Philippines has been recognized globally for its anti-illegal wildlife trade initiatives, Paje said a hundred percent success in enforcement also means the illegal extraction of wildlife does not stop.
    During the WWD celebrations held at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) in Quezon City, Paje led the groundbreaking of the site for a life-size elephant sculpture to be constructed using fragments of ivory tusks crushed by the DENR in June last year.
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