By Nova Regalario
Conservation group Haribon Foundation represented by Chief Operating Officer Maria Belinda de la Paz, Hon. Abigail D. Aquino, Municipal Mayor of Real, Quezon and witnessed by DENR-CENRO Real Forester Lupo Telan sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) at the Mayor’s Office in Real, Quezon to restore denuded forests in areas known as the existing habitat of the Northern Rufous Hornbill, or locally known as Kalaw.
As part of the agreement, 32.56 hectares of deforested land located in the portion of Presidential Proclamation 1636 parcel of land in Barangay Tanauan, Real, Quezon will be restored through Haribon’s Forests For Life (FFL) movement, a campaign to bring back Philippine forests using native trees.
Five out of the over 30 HA restoration area will also be the site for the habitat restoration and expansion of the Northern Rufous Hornbill, a new conservation project by Haribon with Philippine-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company Magellan Solutions.
“There are not many studies that have been done to understand the Kalaw, including their population and breeding capacity,” Haribon Conservation Specialist, J Kahlil Panopio explained. According to BirdLife International, the Northern Rufous Hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax) which can only be found in the islands of Luzon has been listed as Vulnerable due to massive habitat degradation and hunting over the past years.
The agreement was also followed by a MOA signing between the Haribon Foundation represented by de la Paz, Barangay Tanuan Farmers Association (BATAFA) Pres. Francisco Elle and Capt. Rodelio Torres of Brgy. Tanauan.
“If there should be a priority, it should be the conservation of the environment because all other services such as economic, social and infrastructure will be futile if we destroy it,” said Hon. Abigail D. Aquino, Municipal Mayor of Real, Quezon.