DENR-PENRO Cavite, in partnership with SM City Tanza and Digipets, spearheaded the first ever wildlife exhibit in the province, held at the event area of SM City Tanza from March 29-30, 2023 in celebration of World Wildlife Day themed “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation”.

The 2-day wildlife exhibit was visited by 2,867 people coming from various agencies, stakeholders, and mall-goers, mostly high school and college students from adjacent schools/universities.

The event was graced by DENR CALABARZON Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Ronita A. Unlayao, PENRO Cavite Technical Services Division Chief Reynaldo A. Belen, Tanza Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) Menandro Dimaranan, and the SM City Tanza Assistant Mall Manager Edda Vera C. Lizarondo.

“Being one of the 18 mega-biodiverse countries in the world, the Philippines became the world’s biodiversity hotspots, thus, making it one of the top global conservation areas,” ARD Unlayao said.

She said Cavite Province is one of the most highly urbanized provinces in the country with booming economy and multiplying number of establishments, “dahil dito unti-unti ng nawawala ang mga habitat ng ating mga wildlife”. She emphasized the importance of protecting the natural habitats of the wildlife from unsustainable urban development to make sure that those remaining can still be seen in actual by the generations to come and not only in books.

ARD Unlayao also stressed that the word “wildlife” means both animals and plants. She ended her message highlighting the role of women in this kind of endeavour as a way to celebrate Women's Month as well.

PENRO TSD Chief Belen recognized the beauty, diversity, and contribution of wildlife in making the environment livable and colorful. He also acknowledged the pivotal role of each stakeholder towards the protection and conservation of varying wildlife species in the environment adhering to this year’s World Wildlife Day theme. He pointed out the inclusivity of the event which provides a broad audience with hope and guidance so they can feel that there are things they can do to support the preservation of nature.

MENRO Dimaranan said the solid waste problem is one of the major factors that threatens our wildlife. He concisely explained that when these wastes drip down to the coastal and marine ecosystems, several marine species are at risk as they could suffer from the adverse effects of water contamination and plastic waste ingestion. He was proud to mention that the municipality passed an ordinance banning/regulating the use of plastic bags in the whole town to alleviate solid waste problems.

“We humans are not the only ones who live in this world, together with the wildlife, be it animals or plants, we have to live with them in harmony” MENRO Dimaranan said.

SM Tanza Assistant Mall Manager Lizarondo emphasized that the 2-day exhibit is an event to celebrate the beauty and benefits of wildlife to our mother earth. She encouraged the mall-goers to invite their families and friends to join and learn more about wildlife beyond our understanding by viewing the wildlife exhibit.

Several wildlife species were showcased during the exhibit such as snakes (Corn snakes and python) and other reptiles (Caiman crocodile, Bearded dragon, Leopard gecko and Sulcata tortoise), birds (Cockatiel, African lovebirds, Parakeets/Budgies, Sun conore, Parrot and Macaw), live butterflies and plants (Pitcher plant, Venus flytrap, and several species of Bonsai plant).

Said wildlife species are owned by various Certificate of Wildlife Registration (CWR) and Wildlife Farm Permit (WFP) holders in the province of Cavite namely, Digipets, Garden of Eden with Pettok PH, Pet Plants Philippines, Butterfly Sanctuary Silang, Upland Cavite Free Flight, and Cavite Bonsai Club. CWR is a document issued by the DENR attesting that all the wildlife acquired/purchased are from legal sources.

The exhibit primarily aimed to raise awareness about the importance of wildlife and to strengthen partnerships with various stakeholders and private institutions making them allies in the protection, conservation, and management of the natural resources.

DENR-PENRO Cavite looks forward to engaging more stakeholders in its other wildlife-related activities and initiatives, bringing with them the hope that the said exhibit has raised appreciation and that more people are engaged towards becoming the department’s eyes for the protection and conservation of these special creations of God. ###