ADS 468x60

Friday, January 9, 2009

News: Subic still among Philippines' eco-tourism gems: DENR

Subic still among Philippines' eco-tourism gems: DENR

MANILA, Jan. 9 (PNA) -– Zambales province's Subic area remains a choice destination for eco-tourism investments despite threats to the environment there.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Director Ma. Theresa Mundita Lim attributed this to diversity of flora and fauna species in Subic Watershed Forest Reserve (SWFR) located within Subic Economic Freeport Zone in Zambales' Olongapo City.

She also said this area is home to the Aetas, an indigenous group that continues its centuries-old existence in the wilderness there.

"Subic watershed offers limitless potential for eco-tourism," she said.

DENR continues its environmental protection efforts in SWFR-SBNP to address threats to this area like illegal logging, land conversion and collection of non-timber forest products.

SWFR, one of the country's key biodiversity areas, is part of Subic-Bataan Natural Park (SBNP).

Data from DENR, Conservation International Philippines and Haribon Foundation show SWFR-SBNP covers an area of about 25,254 hectares.

Lim noted natural and plantation forests as well as mangroves cover the area.

"About 35 families of plants can be found there," she also said.

DENR reported dipterocarp species like apitong, panao, palosapis, dalindingan, white lauan, guijo, tanguile and kupang are common throughout SWFR.

"Rattan, pandan and climbing bamboo profusely grow there," DENR noted also.

Coral reefs and sea grass meadows also abound in Subic Bay's marine eco-system, DENR continued.

"SWFR is also home to a large variety of animals – mammals there include the threatened wild boar, giant flying fox and deer while common species are the Philippine macaque, forest rats and herds of feral carabao," DENR said, noting mallards, shrikes and other migratory birds pass through this forest reserve. (PNA)

Source: PNA

Hopefully, everyone can do their share of keeping this all intact. It's one thing for the government & residents to take care of SBMA and it's surroundings all over the province, it's another for tourists and visitors to respect that and do their share.