Exhibit Inspires Support to Biodiversity Conservation in Visayas

By Maricyn A. De los Santos

Photos by National Museum Western Visayas

The mobile museum box project, “Conserving the Natural History of the Visayas Region,”continues to inspire and call for support to biodiversity conservation efforts in the region. Now available for free public viewing at the National Museum of the Philippines – Western Visayas Regional Museum, the exhibit features 12 boxes containing actual collection and replica of terrestrial plants and animals and aquatic organisms, samples of forest products, and dioramas of forest stratification and unique geological formations such as Kanlaon volcano in Negros, Chocolate Hills in Bohol, among others.

Philippines is blessed with rich flora and fauna, many of which can only be found or thrive in the country. Although it is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world, Philippines is a biodiversity hot spot. There are incessant and alarming threats to plants and animals and their habitats — overexploitation, land degradation and conversion, pollution, deforestation, and climate crisis. Humans continue to encroach on the remaining forest covers, disturbing the thriving wildlife biodiversity therein, worst pushing some species to extinction or near extinction.

Panay, Negros and Guimaras islands belong to West Visayas Faunal Region, together with Masbate, Ticao and Cebu. Of the six faunal regions in the Philippines, the WVFR has the least remaining forest, and is one of the world’s highest biodiversity conservation priorities. Through the exhibition, the NMP and Forest Foundation of the Philippines are raising awareness of the presence and importance of flora and fauna to a balanced ecosystem, and the adverse effects of “imbalance” and “habitat degradation”to communities as seen in historic flashfloods that wiped out some communities in Leyte.

Biodiversity conservation efforts are global. We can join by first, immediately relearning “pag-amlig”, the care for environment or ecological stewardship. The exhibit is a joint project of National Museum of the Philippines–Botany and Herbarium Division, the Western Visayas Association of Museums, Inc., and Forest Foundation of the Philippines.

October is Museums and Galleries Month. Visit National Museum Western Visayas from Tuesday to Sunday, 9AM to 4:30 PM to enjoy the exhibits and art activities. Entrance is free.