Senator Loren Legarda today joined the call to save the Philippine Marine Turtles or “Pawikan” at the 2012 Pawikan Festival held at the Pawikan Conservation Center in Morong, Bataan.
Legarda, keynote speaker at the event, remarked that the Pawikan is one of the oldest species that have survived to this day, and are among those that live the longest.
“Pawikans are majestic creatures found throughout the country. However, because of poaching, theft of their eggs for commercial purposes, and destruction of their habitat, they are in danger of becoming extinct,” she said.
“There is no denying that we have become the biggest threat to their existence and to the existence of many other species of animals,” she added.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, emphasized that the destruction of marine habitats means great losses for many sources of livelihood, including tourism, as well as depletion of food supply.
“I laud the local government of Bataan for their initiatives to protect, conserve, and rehabilitate the Pawikan population. Future generations will be thankful for the concerted action they have achieved,” she said.
The Senator also urged the people of Bataan to spread their advocacy to other communities in the Philippines, saying that we can and should reverse the trend, and stop those who are plundering the seas for their own gain.
“The environment is threatened by the times, by the pressures of modern society, by our very species. But let this be a challenge to harness science and involve our citizens. Let us take that one vital step forward for a safe and green environment for all,” Legarda concluded.***