The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region IX marks the celebration of World Wildlife Day as it conducts the releasing of previously rescued wildlife, tree growing activity and unveils the landmark logo of Mount Timolan Protected Landscape (MTPL), a declared protected area and ecotourism destination, in Barangay Limas, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur.
The occasion was graced with the presence of RED Crisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez, Department of Tourism (DOT) IX Assistant Secretary and concurrent Regional Director Myra Paz Valderosa Abubakar, Tigbao Mayor Eleazar C. Carcallas, Zamboanga del Sur Tourism Officer Atty. Ma. Kristina Jihan Bana, other municipal tourism officers, PASu Mario Ronulo, regional and provincial DENR personnel, MTPL Eco-tour Guides, MTPL Motorbikes Drivers/Operators and residents.
Released back to the wild was a pair of Red Jungle Fowl (Gallus gallus) and a Pinsker's hawk-eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri). These wildlife were previously rescued by the office and rehabilated at the Regional Wildlife Rescue Center in Baclay, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.
The MTPL Logo was a winning design during an online contest and symbolizes the unity of the stakeholders, the pristine beauty of Lake Maragang and the richness of biodiversity in the area.
With the theme "Forest and Livelihood: Sustaining People and Planet" , RED Rodriguez expounds on the role of the protected area as a prime ecotourism destination in the province and how it was able to provide livelihood to people in the local community.
" There is a symbiotic relationship between people and forest here in this community for as long as the people will ensure its protection, it will also help alleviate poverty and continue to make MTPL a prime destination for tourists", she said.
ASEC Abubakar lauded the beauty of Mount Timolan and Lake Maragang and the efforts of the different stakeholders in its conservation making it a prime ecotourism destination of Zamboanga del Sur.
" MTPL is very beautiful and the effort in coming here is truly worth it. What you have is a blessing from God and I hope you will continue to protect what has been given to you", she said.
ASEC Abubakar also mentioned that MTPL ranks 2nd top of the top 10 ecotourism destination in Zamboanga Peninsula from 2016 to 2019 on ecotourism adventure based on visitor arrival reports submitted to her office.
Mayor Carcallas, on the other hand, assured DENR and DOT that their community will continue to work hand in hand to protect and conserve the rich biodiversity of MTPL.
World Wildlife Day is celebrated every March 3 as proclaimed by the United Nation General Assembly to raise awareness for the world's wild animals and plants.