1. Enumerate and discuss the direct and indirect threats to Philippine biodiversity.
• Illegal logging
• Oils spill
• Introduction of invasive species
• Infrastructure development
• Rapidly increasing human population against a limited land base
➢ Indiscriminate logging literally changes the forest landscape. Although there has been a decline in logging activities– due to the combined effects of a ban on logging old growth forests– illegal logging activities persist. The damage to the country’s forest areas and the biodiversity therein is exemplified by a 2.1% (100,000 ha) annual loss in forest cover during the period 2000-2005, which is considered the second fastest in Southeast Asia (next to Myanmar) and the 7th fastest in the world. Currently, the country has 15 million hectares of land classified as forest. However, only about 7.2 million hectares (approximately 24% of its total land area) can actually be considered as forests, based on the FAO definition.
➢ Mining operations threaten ecological sustainability. The Philippines is considered the fifth most highly mineralized country in the world. It is a significant producer of gold, copper, nickel and chromite and has in the recent past ranked among the world’s top 10 producers. It is also abundant in non-metallic and industrial minerals such as marble, limestone, clay, feldspar and aggregates. Since key provisions of the Mining Code were upheld by the Supreme Court in 2004, there has been a heavy influx of mining activity and investment; as of 2007, some 124 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) and around 4 Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs) had been issued (DENR-MGB 2011). The threat is compounded by the fact that most of the country’s priority conservation areas sit on top of huge mineral reserves. Thus there...
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