Locals and tourists can soon expect another ecotourism destination in Puerto Galera with the ongoing construction of the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Center (MBCC), touted to become one of the country’s premier environmental conservation venues and educational-cultural sites.
“It is the first of its kind in Mindoro and will be the physical embodiment of sustainability, benefitting present and future generations,” Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (MBCFI) Executive Director Grace Diamante said.
The MBCC is a legacy project of the MBCFI and will be a focal point for nature preservation efforts and ecological research in the Philippines.
Its location is strategic as Mindoro is a globally recognized biodiversity conservation area due to its abundance in endemic species and diversity of habitats, which are also threatened by human activities like poaching and deforestation.
As of June, the construction of the 600-square-meter facility on a 16-hectare property overlooking the bay at Brgy. Dulangan was nearly halfway done.
Diamante encouraged the public and private sectors to also make their mark and contribute to the milestone endeavor through sponsorships and donations.
The Department of Science and Technology-MIMAROPA recently approved the provision of solar panels to help power up the MBCC’s research laboratory. Naming opportunities are also open to help fund other components of the MBCC.
Aside from being MBCFI’s future headquarters, the MBCC will feature a natural history museum; a forest restoration area for native tree species; a Mangyan heritage hall for Indigenous People (IP) groups to showcase their culture and products; a research laboratory to assist in the discovery of new species; a Nature Discovery Trail; eco-lodges with glamping areas at the view deck; and a temporary holding facility for rescued endangered animals.
With its sustainability features, the MBCC aims to be a green building certified by the International Finance Corporation's EDGE.
It is also projected to help MBCFI continue studies for science-based recommendations to policymakers, and conduct information drives through its Conservation Awareness Raising and Education (CARE) program.
Diamante said environmental conservation should be given importance because the continued loss of biodiversity caused by human activities will affect communities with the consequences of climate change such as typhoons, drought, and loss of natural resources.
The Philippines ranks 3rd among the countries in the region most vulnerable to climate change in 2019, according to a study conducted by Singapore-based ValueChampion.
“We must act now despite the global pandemic. We've started to make the dream a reality and together, we will build this legacy and sustain our gains because this project is a collaboration of concerned citizens and organizations who envision a better future for the country’s ecology,” Diamante said.
As part of the efforts to bring the MBCC to reality, MBCFI launched a virtual exhibit on Facebook and Instagram entitled “Colors of Biodiversity,” which features art works of homegrown Mindoro artists including Nestor Abayon Jr. whose paintings have gone viral online.
To learn more about how to support MBCFI and the establishment of MBCC, please contact +63917-547-1976 or send an email to [email protected]. For updates and other details, check out MBCFI’s website at https://site2.mbcfi.org.ph/
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