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Arroyo to sign EO on waste segregation

Posted in DENR, Environment, Laws, Legislation, LGUs by Erineus on March 24, 2009

By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:57:00 03/15/2009


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is drafting an executive order to be signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo this week that will compel the public to segregate their garbage, according to the agency’s press statement.

The executive order “will hasten the implementation” of Republic Act (RA) 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, said the DENR statement released over the weekend.

“To support and strengthen RA 9003, the DENR is preparing an EO directing households to segregate their garbage and local government units (LGUs) to implement separate garbage collections for biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes,” DENR Secretary Lito Atienza said.

The law stipulates garbage segregation but it is hardly followed.

“Filipinos must be reminded of their responsibilities on waste disposal and the system of separate collection will definitely reduce the volume of garbage that accumulate daily,” Atienza said.

“We must continuously guide everybody on the proper disposal of garbage as we strictly monitor and enforce compliance to RA 9003, especially now that the effects of global warming and climate change are being experienced all over the world,” Atienza said.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090315-194290/Arroyo-to-sign-EO-on-waste-segregation

New rat species found

Posted in Conservation, DENR, Discovery, Environment, Faura/Fauna, News Feature by Erineus on February 19, 2009
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MANILA, Philippines – Environment Secretary Lito Atienza yesterday called for greater biodiversity conservation in the wake of the discovery of a new species of small rodent found only on Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) and the Chicago-based Field Museum of Natural History.

Mt. Hamiguitan is home to a forest of pygmy trees.

The Hamiguitan batomys or Hamiguitan hairy-tailed rat is a yellow-brown animal with a long furry tail and a weight of 175 grams, discovers said. It is related to several other species known in Central Mindanao, Dinagat Island and Luzon, and lives only from an elevation of 950 meters up to the peak, in dwarf mossy forests of areas less than 10 square kilometers.

“We have long taken great pride in our wealth of flora and fauna and this new discovery reinforces our efforts to make the protection of these unique and endemic species found in the country our top priority,” Atienza said.

He said there is a very high chance of more discoveries of new species in the country, but some of these might already be threatened before they are even discovered. He urged everyone to do their share in protecting the country’s forests, home to the wildlife.

Atienza said the Philippines has been declared by global scientists as one of only a few mega diverse countries in the world.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the new species was found in May 2006 during an expedition that sought to learn more about the region, which is also home to the globally endangered Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird.

Quoting expedition team leader and lead author Danilo Balete, the DENR said that the “Hamiguitan batomys is the first mammal to be described from Eastern Mindanao, and is the first mammal that is thought to live only in that area. Most mammals unique to Mindanao were described from Mt. Apo or Mt. Kitanglad. This points to eastern Mindanao, especially Mt. Hamiguitan, as a biologically unique part of the Philippines.”

PEF executive director Dennis Salvador said Mt. Hamiguitan and the rest of Eastern Mindanao are poorly known biologically but the mountain is known as a mining and logging hot spot.

The DENR said that at Mt. Hamiguitan, six mining agreements cover more than 17,000 hectares of forest, more than half of the mountain’s forest cover.

Meanwhile, DENR’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau director Dr. Mundita Lim said Mt. Hamiguitan “fully deserves” to be among the global heritage sites and endorsed its inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Lawrence Heaney, Curator of Mammals at the Field Museum, and a co-author of the batomys description, believed that additional species currently unknown to anyone except local residents are likely to live in eastern Mindanao due to its “unusual geological history.”

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DENR Going After Crematoria & Cemeteries

Posted in Crematoria/Cemeteries, DENR, Environment by Erineus on February 1, 2009

Even the dead have to follow environmental standards.

Expressing concern about the potential pollution and danger posed by waste from facilities catering to the dead, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now requiring crematoria, cemeteries and funeral parlors to secure an   environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the government.

“Crematoria involve the burning process. Funeral parlors make use of formaldehyde. So because of the hazardousness of wastes coming from these establishments, we have amended the AO to upgrade the classification of these business establishments and require an environmental impact statement,” Atienza pointed out.  Full Story