With the rise of illegal trafficking and smuggling in and out of the country, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is encouraging the public to report wildlife trafficking incidents, so that law enforcers could act on their feet and resolve these crimes as soon as possible.

“If you know of any illegal wildlife trade, we enjoin you to inform us so we can act decisively and fast,” Roy Cimatu, DENR secretary, has told the public during the annual Earth Day at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City on Wednesday.

In line with Earth Day’s theme, “Protect our Species,” the event aims to raise awareness about the alarming decline of species population worldwide, bringing them into the brink of extinction. This also hopes to intensify conservation efforts, and promote species-protecting individual actions.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), along with several wildlife conservation groups, have already reported that more than 50 percent of the population of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, have declines in the past 40 years, and that we may be experiencing mass extinction in the coming years if we do not take action.

“We will never condone illegal wildlife trade as this will definitely lead to extinction of species,” Cimatu added.

The Philippines is considered as a biodiversity hotspot, because a lot of native species are dying at an alarming rate due to habitat loss, over-exploitation, deforestation, land degradation, climate change, pollution, and other causes.

Cimatu added that DENR will continue monitoring activities to protect the species and their habitats.

“We will never let our guard down against animal poachers and traffickers,” Cimatu added.

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