By Lordee Gomez / UM Intern
THE PHILIPPINE Eagle Foundation (PEF) commemorates a week dedicated to the country’s national bird from June 3 – 12 at the Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Calinan District.
Philippine Eagle Week (PEW) is an annual nationwide event that promotes Philippine eagle conservation and popularizes Philippine eagle conservation.
With this year’s theme, “Lasting Freedom of our Philippine Eagle,” the foundation will commence games and peace activities like Nature’s Quest, an exhibit that will highlight the milestone of projects in Aracan, egg-hunting activity, Agila photo booth, Keeper’s talk, Color Your Eagle Mask, and will screen a film entitled “to save our Eagle.”
These activities are not only in line with the PEW celebration but also in accordance with their behavioral change campaign. It is part of the PEF’s commitment to raise awareness and to lay out calls to the public, especially Filipinos, regarding the conservation of the national bird and the great need to protect them.
“This is our hall of PEF approach that seeks to promote and popularize Philippine Eagle conservation, especially now that parang (like) ironically, even though the Philippine Eagle is the national symbol, only a few people are aware of the Philippine Eagle and its conservation,” said Irick Francisco, PEF conservation education and public awareness officer.
Moreover, PEF has four existing programs: conservation breeding dedicated to the propagation of the Philippine eagle in captivity, Building more public awareness and developing sympathy for the Philippine Eagle, Development program that delivers compelling messages, effective branding, and fundraising of various initiatives, and Community engagement with Culture-based conservation.
“Kailangan po natin ng (We need) more efforts to protect and conserve our eagles, ang dami pong (there are a lot of) shooting and hunting and rescues na ginawa namin (that we did) for the Philippine eagles, but we still put more efforts to educate our people especially on the ground and through our conservation efforts [culture-based conservation] we partner with our indigenous communities…they share habitat in the ancestral domains of the IPs. Through this, we deal with human-related issues like shooting and hunting, trapping, and habitat loss,” Jimbea Lucino, Manager of Culture-based Conservation Philippine Eagle Foundation, uttered.
One of PEF’s backbone programs is a community education public awareness campaign or behavioral change campaign, where the foundation holds events in areas like schools, malls, and communities to educate people about the Philippine eagle and its conversation.
Fransisco also believes that this campaign is one of the factors for sustainability. If people are conscious enough about the wellness of the planet and if they participate in the conservation mission, more people will help protect our environment, as it is a moral obligation.
“We encourage everybody to really visit the Philippine Eagle Center during the PEW celebration; most of our activities—if not all, are really intended for our kids. As young as they are, we want to mold them into the concepts of conservation,” Fransisco added.
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