An Inquiry to the Philippines’ Biological Diversity. RE-BLOGGED: Status and trends of biodiversity (

An Inquiry to the Philippines Biological Diversity. RE-BLOGGED: Status and trends of biodiversity (

Biodiversity-Philippines_0Biological Diversity in the Philippines The Philippines has an undeniably wide array of species. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (, the country is in fact one of the 18 mega-biodiverse countries in the world as it contains two-thirds of the earth’s biodiversity and between 70% and 80% of the world’s plant and animal species. While in the number of plant species, it is consistent on being on the fifth spot maintaining 5% of the world’s flora. Species endemism is very high, covering at least 25 genera of plants and 49% of terrestrial wildlife, while the country ranks fourth in bird endemism. The Philippines is also one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots with at least 700 threatened species, thus making it one of the top global conservation areas. The national list of threatened faunal species was established in 2004 and includes 42 species of land mammals, 127 species of birds, 24 species of reptiles and 14 species of amphibians.

In terms of fishes, the Philippines counts at least 3,214 species, of which about 121 are endemic and 76 threatened. In 2007, an administrative order issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources established a national list of threatened plant species, indicating that 99 species were critically endangered, 187 were endangered, 176 vulnerable as well as 64 other threatened species. This unique biodiversity is supported by a large variety of ecosystems, landscapes and habitats, most of which are also greatly threatened by human activities.

According to the FAO definition, the Philippines has 7.2 million ha of forest ecosystems, comprising approximately 24% of the total land area. It is however estimated that, between 2000 and 2005, the Philippines lost 2.1% of its forest cover annually, representing the second fastest rate of deforestation in Southeast Asia (second to Myanmar) and seventh in the world. The country’s agricultural ecosystem is also noteworthy. The Philippines is part of the center of diversity of rice, coconut, mung bean, taro and yam, as well as the center of origin and diversity of bananas in Southeast Asia. Yet this agricultural biodiversity is nowadays experiencing general decline, as is the land area devoted to these activities.

hghjrytjThe trend is similar for inland water biodiversity, with findings indicating a decreasing trend in water quality, fish, biodiversity and cultural value in the country’s largest lake (Laguna de Bay) and its tributary rivers. The Philippines presents unique coastal, marine and island biodiversity. It is indeed located within the Coral Triangle, at the center of highest marine biodiversity. A study conducted in 2005 noted that there is a higher concentration of species per unit area in the country than anywhere in Indonesia and Wallacea. Yet this ecosystem is also greatly at risk. While the 2005 review of the state of the marine and coastal environment indicated an increase in the mangrove cover, reef cover, seagrass cover and fishery production are nowadays decreasing substantially.


The Philippines derives large benefits from ecosystems. In particular, the country recognizes the important role played by watersheds, river basins and coastal areas in the environment and in society as a source of livelihood (supporting fisheries, recreation and tourism and many other activities). For instance, a watershed with adequate forest cover provides water that supports lowland agriculture, prevents soil erosion and siltation of coasts and water bodies, and sustains the supply of surface and groundwater for domestic use. Likewise, the forest ecosystem provides ecological services that benefit agriculture, industries, water and power needs. Production forest areas for tree plantations and agroforestry activities are sources of jobs and revenues, with agriculture having represented 18.4% of the country’s GDP in 2007.

For more information about the benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services you can click here. Enjoy exploring! 🙂


Curious about the Implementing Rules of the Philippines about Waste Management? Read More: 9003: Waste Management in the Philippines


9003: Waste Management in the Philippines

“If we will not change our way of life, we will run out of land to dump the waste and we will soon be walking on streets full of garbage.”  — Emelita S. Aguinaldo, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC)

gaerGarbage is one of the biggest problems of the Philippines to date. The growth of the population in the country seems to be directly proportional, or even multiplied to the volume of garbage that is needed to be disposed. The capital city of the country which is Manila solely produces a fourth of the garbage in the Philippines amounting to up to 35,000 tons of garbage daily according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The environment of the country has been severely damaged with this extremities. A well-known example of the adverse effect is the death of the Pasig River. The river has reached its worst level when it was filled with garbage for a long time and almost lost its ability to inhabit certain species and organisms that are beneficial to the people. Due to such circumstance, the government through the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) took necessary actions to save the country before its total wreckage.


Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000


On January 26 2001, Republic Act 9003 otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 was signed to address the alarming environmental situation. This law is intended to institutionalize national programs that will manage the control, transfer, transport, processing and disposal of solid waste in the country.

At this point, I would no longer discuss about the legalities and technicalities of the law, you may check out the full version of the law here.

Extensive actions and researches have been established since the implementation of the law took an effect on 2000. has listed a few commendable accomplishments of the law.


Formal Accomplishments

The project started off according to plan in March 2003 and accomplished the requirements in the ToR even faster than its initial time schedule requested.

Below on this page, the general development, experiences, accomplishments, and practical outcome in the initial – rather conventional – project are briefly described with texts and pictures.

You will find the more comprehensive and full Final Report here.

However, the real success of the project is found in the additional work carried out in the most active of the barangays, barangay Pinagkaisahan. The project developed a small scale Eco Center that now works as the heart of a concrete, hands-on Solid Waste Management System with an adapted Material Recovery Facility (MRF); all in order to serve as the desired Best Practice Example.

Owing to very strong and dedicated Baranggay Management, enthusiastic staff, and with time relatively cooperative inhabitants the project has managed to reduce the number of truck loads bringing residual waste to Payatas dumpsite from eight (8) per week in the beginning of the project down to two (2) today (March 2007) -and the project is now even in the process of reducing to one (1) truck per week. This remarkable reduction of 75% or even more shows that it is possible to achieve significant positive results with limited budgets.

More of the unique accomplishments, actions, experiences, etc that have led to the sustainable success and the good example in barangay Pinagkaisahan are found on a separate page (click here).



The implementation of this law can somehow be a leap of faith if you were to ask me. It is indeed hard to kill a bad rotten practice of mismanaging the solid waste of some of the Filipinos. It is always a matter of discipline and proper knowledge in order to put this dream to reality. Although accomplishments of the law are already known to a few set of people, there are still some who still need to conform by the norms as stated in this law. To help solve the solid waste problem, NSWMC highly recommended countrymen, the formula, to adopt the 3Rs of Ecological Waste Management: REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE.recycle-logo1


What’s better way of managing solid wastes than reducing your use of non-environmental friendly materials like plastic? It may look complicated but it is the easiest thing to do. You may think that giving up the things you are used to like using plastic is hard but it is more efficient than to spend thousand years of waiting for them to be completely disposed. Stay away from disposable goods, buy products with less packaging, buy durable goods, and other things that can reduce your waste.


This method is one of the most popular nowadays. Well of course produced plastics or disposable materials as I have said would take years to completely disappear (some would never though). So instead of throwing them away at the dumps anywhere else, Reuse them. Reusing may eventually reduce the overall amount of waste.


Recycle and transform what seems to be a waste already into a new useful or decorative material. When recycling, some waste materials are used to create more of the same original product, while others are used to create entirely different products.