Like every 5th of June since 1974 today we celebrate the World Environment Day, organized by the United Nations in order to stimulate thoughts and concrete actions that aim at protecting the environment. This year, with the motto “Go Wild for Life” attention is devoted principally to the protection of biodiversity and species under threat of extinction and a zero tolerance against illegal trade of wildlife is proclaimed. Environment is a central topic in the activities of Kito Onlus in the Philippines; by being a Country among the ten ones most affected by natural disasters in the world, as pointed out by the Global Climate Risk Index 2016, the organization has developed projects capable of working in emergency’s contexts, in order to soften and influence them. Today, in line with the theme of the World Environment Day, we want to remind you all that the Philippines are among those countries with the highest degree of biodiversity and endemism in the world. As stated in the report “Status of Philippine Biodiversity” (2014), the Country hosts more than 52,177 different species; more than the half of them can be found only in the Philippines and in no other place in the world. This is important because biodiversity, apart from being a value per se, is a resource that strengthen the productivity, stability and resilience of ecosystems. Unluckily, Philippines are also considered an hotspot for biodiversity, meaning that many species are under threat of extinction. Causes are different and among them we can find illegal traffic, deforestation and climate change. On this topic, more than once Kito has underlined the fact that, even though extreme climate events are common in the Philippines, it is sure that climate change has been playing a role in recent years in strengthening their frquency and violence (see also this article by Ecowatch). On this day we want to underline in particular how this phenomenon works negatively in the Philippines in terms of biodiversity’s loss, inducing many species to leave their natural habitat.
The loss of biodiversity is not inevitable. For World Environment Day 2016 the Department of environment and natural resources of the Government of Philippines (in the Country, the whole month of June is dedicated to the environment) has released a document in which it invites everyone to do something in order to fight climate change through ecologic and sustainable choices, such as renewable energy, recycle and eco-friendly business. Kito Onlus as well encourages you all today, but not only today, to do something for the environment and be yourselves agents of change.
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