Soccsksargen signs deals vs wildlife trafficking
THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Soccsksargen regional office has signed agreements with air and sea port authorities to beef up border checks against wildlife trafficking.
The Mindanao State University (MSU), meanwhile, has launched its Center for Biodiversity Studies in General Santos City, which will do research on the region’s three protected areas.
Soccsksargen in southern Philippines covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, and General Santos City. Its protected areas are Mt. Matutum, Allah Valley Watershed Forest Reserve and Sarangani Bay.
Under the DENR partnership with the Philippine Ports Authority and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, wildlife traffic monitoring units will be stationed at ports to enforce the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2002.
Reactivating these monitoring units particularly in General Santos City’s sea and air ports is expected to boost wildlife protection, South Cotabato Provincial Environment Officer Radzak B. Sinarimbo said.
Under the law, only legally acquired and documented wild animals can enter and leave the country.
The Environment department also said the MSU would identify and protect critically endangered plant and animal species and conserve terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
The center will also look into issues affecting Soccsksargens’ indigenous flora and fauna, especially those in protected areas. — MSJ