Case Study by Farah Sevilla, Alyansa Tigil MinaPalawan: Mining and Biodiversitythe country’s coral reefs, has 17 key biodiversity areas
(KBAs), and8 declared protected areas. The province is host to one of the areasin the country with intact old growth forests.
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund Identification of BiodiversityHotspot recorded that Palawan comprises the following biodiversity:
15 lakes, 42 ponds, 44 waterfalls, 72 natural springs, 9 mineralsprings, 28 principal rivers, 43 streams and 165 creeks identifiedas potential sources of water for domestic consumption andirrigation;
13 out of the 16 sea grasses that can be found in the country;
42,500 hectares of mangrove forests, having 31 species and 90%of the known mangrove species in the country;
approximately 690,000 hectares of terrestrial forest;
8 of the 11 amphibians endemic to the Philippines are found onlyin Palawan;
279 species of birds are found in Palawan and 27 are endemic tothe country;
15 of the 25 marine mammals in the Philippines are found inPalawan;
58 species of terrestrial mammals are recorded and 19 or 33%are endemic to the country and 16 are restricted to the Mt.Mantalingahan Range;
24 endemic reptiles and 69 species are found in the Mt.Mantalingahan corridor;
4 of the 5 marine turtles are found in Palawan; and
379 species of corals found in Palawan and 82% of the total coralspecies recorded in the country. The UNESCO declared two areas in Palawan as World Heritage sites: The Tubattaha Reed Marine Park in 1993 which covers 332 squarekilometers north and south reefs with very high density of marinespecies and the North Islets are the nesting site for birds and marineturtles; and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in1999 hosts some of the most important forests in Asia, and is a sitethat contains a full ‘mountain to sea’ ecosystem.
Key Biodiversity Areas are “sites of global significance for biodiversity conservation, identified using globallystandard criteria and thresholds, based on the needs of biodiversity requiring safeguard at the site scale.“ Theycover 70% of the world’s natural resources. (Ruth Grace Ambal, Conservation International-Philippines)
2000 Data from HARIBON Foundation 2003 based on ESSC 1999 cited there are only 18.3% total forest cover in the Philippines and only 3% remaining old growth forest.