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1. BACKGROUND

The Philippines, Pearl of the Orient Seas, is very rich in wonderful natural resources. It has fertile, arable lands, extensive coastline and rich mineral deposits. Our country is a paradise, sanctuary to an amazing variety of Flora and Fauna that is found nowhere else in the world.

Picture 1
The Aerial View Perspective of the With Green T[h]ree Forestry Research Center Owed to its volcanic nature, Philippine soil is very fertile. Abundant rain and sunshine, as well as the wide range of habitats and elevations account for an incredible variety of plant life in every category, from mosses and lichens (including 1,000 species of fern) to giant trees (about 3,000 species). Since neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia have a similar climate, plants found here are mainly of the type found in those countries. Other Flora-Plant Life are the mangroves, they form a fringe or what seems like a fence along the sides of this bodies of water, dense tropical rainforests contains vines, ferns, orchids, and huge trees with buttressed trunks. The dipterocarp - hardwoods, known collectively as Philippine mahogany, can supply many natural resource needs. Narra, the national tree of the Philippines, The nipa palm, however, must be the unofficial national tree. sampaguita, the national flower with distinct fragrance. But the orchid also has a claim to fame, with almost 1,000 stunning species, including the waling-waling of Mindanao.

The country also has the highest concentration of birds and butterflies in the world. The best-known Philippine member of the bird family is the Philippine Eagle, formerly called the "monkey-eating eagle" (because it eats monkeys). The Palawan Peacock Pheasant is also a remarkable bird only found in Palawan. There are about 25,000 species of insects found in the Philippines. Palawan, Mindanao and Sulu are prime butterfly territories with an estimated 800 species. A prominent butterfly, Papilio trojano, is the largest of its kind with an average wingspan of 18 centimeters. This black and green butterfly can only be found in Palawan. The most popular beast of burden in the Philippines is the carabao, a native water buffalo highly prized for its vast power and patience as a plough-puller. Of the reptile family, south gravity-defying, mosquito-chomping gecko and it’s raspy "tap tap tap7' mating call. Sail-fin dragon and the flying lizard discovered by Jose Rizal as well as a wide variety of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, including pythons and sea snakes. The country is said to be home to the sea cow or dugong once found in great numbers in Philippine waters including the island of Palawan but now rare. You're more likely to spot dolphins, whales and, if your timing is right, butanding (whale sharks) near Sorsogon in South Luzon. One of the Philippine islands that are known for its rainforests and abundant marine and wildlife resources is Palawan; Palawan is among the most biodiverse areas in South East Asia, both in terms of the variety of marine life thriving underwater and also above sea level, with its spectacular vistas. The provinces sprawling mountains, limestone cliffs combined with jungle, immaculate beaches, coves, caves and islets is said to resemble Borneo more than the rest of the Philippines. In fact, the main island of Palawan is divided lengthways through the middle by a series of mountain ranges which average 1066 metres, with the highest peak at 2085 metres, Mount Matalingahan. Over half of the entire province’s land mass is tropical forest, providing a key area for further exploration.

Currently home to approximately 232 endemic species, more than 200 kinds of birds, over 600 species of butterflies, over 1500 plant types and 573 species of fish, to name but a few, Palawan was granted Biosphere Reserve Status in the 1990s, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to conservation and sustainable development. The province is rapidly developing in stature as one of the best...
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