About the Haribon Foundation (2018)

About the Haribon Foundation (2018)


The Haribon Society was founded in 1972 by
a small group of nature-lovers, researchers, and citizen scientists. Its members, and the subsequent members after
them, helped give birth to the Philippine environmental movement. Today, Haribon’s vision is to transform
every individual into a biodiversity champion. To do this, it moves forward with its mission
to advocate biodiversity conservation through building constituencies, empowering communities
and applying multi-disciplinary research. For 45 years, we’ve worked with various
sectors and groups in bird conservation, rainforestation, marine protected area management, policy advocacy,
and more. All this work is best understood under our
four pillars: Conserving Sites and Habitats, Saving Species, Encouraging Sustainability,
and Empowering People. Conserving Sites and Habitats. In 1987, a joint Haribon and DENR task force
was created to evaluate the protected areas in the country. The results of this project served as key
inputs to the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act or NIPAS Act, which would
be passed in 1992. In 1999, Haribon and BirdLife International
published the most comprehensive book on the country’s threatened birds with Threatened
Birds of the Philippines. In culmination of this Red Data Book project,
a total of 117 Important Biodiversity Areas or IBAs were identified as areas of global
significance for biodiversity conservation. Research on these areas were compiled in Haribon’s
multi-award-winning book, Key Conservation Sites in the Philippines. Saving Species. Haribon served as a founding member of the
Philippine Eagle Working Group, along side DENR and other NGOs in 1989. The group would be the steering committee
for the conservation of what was then called the Monkey-eating Eagle. Haribon also advocated for the issuance of
DENR memorandum circular 2004-06 which promotes rainforestation as an approach in restoring
the tropical rainforest using indigenous species. In June of 2018, Haribon, DENR, and other
NGOs will celebrate Philippine Eagle Week, sharing trivia on social media, with activities
to be held at Manila Ocean Park. Between 2012 and 2016, Haribon and Newcastle
University interviewed over 2,500 fishers and surveyed over 1,700 kilometers of reefs. In doing so, they identified 59 fish species
that have decreased in catch since the 1950’s, filling in gaps in historical fish data. Encouraging Sustainability. In 2015 Haribon began work in in strengthening
a bay-wide federation of marine protected areas in Surigao del Sur, funded by UNDP through
the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the DENR. Haribon and local organizations are now working
with 16 MPAs in the area, and a MPA summit is planned for 2018. At the mountainous spine of Panay island,
Haribon determined that up to 3,600 Dulungan hornbills are still present in the Central
Panay Mountain Range. This research continues in Haribon’s Species
of Hope program for the Dulungan, funded by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. Empowering People. The Biodiversity on Wheels or BOW is a moving
classroom on biodiversity that goes from one school to the next. Launched in 2012 BOW spreads awareness on
biodiversity conservation among children and youth using various engaging activities and
learning materials. Today, BOW so far has reached over 50,000
students, with the help of over 1,000 volunteers. The Forest Governance Project or FoGoP, funded
by the European Union, aims to increase participation of non-state actors in various forest governance
processes. By empowering communities living in or around
the country’s threatened forests, we conserve crucial watersheds that supply us with water,
while saving unique species living in them. To continue this work, and more, Haribon is
part of various networks. Here is a short list of some of them. Conserving our environment cannot be done
alone. We must work with all sectors, communities,
government agencies, and more to ensure that our unique biodiversity and the habitats we
share with them, will continue to thrive for generations to come.

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