DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) is eyeing to promote raptor conservation to boost ecotourism in the city as they host the 10th Asian Raptor Research and Conservation Network Symposium in October here.
Education Administrator Rai Kristie Gomez of the Philippine Eagle Foundation told reporters in a press conference held at Habi at Kape, Abreeza Mall here on Wednesday, July 26, they are hopeful to gather researchers, hobbyists, and interested people to do researches about raptors here in the country.
“We want to promote raptor research in the Philippines because not a lot of people are actually doing raptor research and we have several raptors here in the Philippines,” Gomez said.
Gomez said the country currently have around 30 species of raptors and six of which are endemic or can only be found in the Philippines.
The said event which will be held on October 18-22, will be the first raptor symposium to be conducted in the country.
Gomez said currently, there are about 109 registered participants. She stressed that most of the participants are foreign delegates who are also members of the Asian Raptors Conservation Network. Gomez also encouraged local researchers and conservationists to join as well.
“We’re hoping that we get a lot of local participation since our main focus is to encourage the locals especially the youth to do raptor research,” Gomez said.
This year’s symposium, “Renewing People-Raptor Ties Through Community Based Initiatives”, focuses on how the community-based actions “can result to healthy people-raptor relationships.” Hence, “Raptor well-being reflects human well-being.”
Gomez said they are yet to confirm areas to where they can conduct the field trips for participants to be able to observe birds and as well as expose them to the culture of PEF’s partner communities.
“We are hoping to conduct the field trip in one of our partner communities because we’re also promoting their site as an ecotourism site to promote culture and not only biodiversity,” Gomez said.
Gomez mentioned that PEF has maintained a strong partnership with indigenous people’s communities in protecting watershed and forested areas.
In coordination with the local government of Davao City, the PEF and city government has given livelihood to a number of IPs who serves as forest guards in protected areas including Mt. Apo while women are taught to sew products such as stuffed toys that are sold to tourists in the Philippine Eagle Center.(davaotoday.com)