US scientist to lead education campaign on RP, Guimaras marine biodiversity

October 17, 2006

ILOILO City – “Filipinos should become more aware of the natural resource wealth endowed them and should raise their awareness and convert this into conservation efforts.”

So said Old Dominion University Biological Sciences Professor and IUCN (World Conservation Union) Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinator, Dr. Kent Edward Carpenter who will be in Iloilo City to lead a forum as part of an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) initiative on Philippine marine conservation and the implication of the 4 August 2006 MV Solar 1 oil spill off Southern Guimaras considered the most disastrous in Philippine history.

Open to the public, the forum scheduled 9 AM, 20 October 2006, Training Room, Graduate and Continuing Education Building (GCEB), University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Iloilo City Campus is supported by the University of the Philippine Office of the Vice-president for Research and Extension (OVCRE) and stakeholders at-large.

Carpenter will also be the main guest of Eco-Forum, an environmental television talk show of the Central Philippine University (CPU) Channel 8, Sky Cable Network, 6 p.m., October 19, 2006 edition.

With Dr. Victor Springer of the Division of Fishes, Department of Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Carpenter co-authored the paper The center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity: the Philippine Islands.

Findings of the study show that the Central Philippines with Guimaras as major component has the highest marine biodiversity according to different categories of distribution type, habitat type and major taxonomic group in the world.

According to the study the identification of the Philippines as the center of marine biodiversity is troubling because of the heightened level of threats to the country’s marine environments.

An excerpt from the study says:

“The concentration of marine endemics in the Philippines poses a danger of mass extinction on a marine scale similar to endangered Brazilian forests. The concentration of species indicates that there are a variety of unique biotic communities in the area. These unique communities will also be under threat due to habitat degradation.

Knowledge of the underlying processes that govern distribution of biodiversity is crucial to understanding ecology (Gaston 2000, Mora et al 2003).”

The forum will consider issues on the oil spill that is continuing to threaten the eco-tourist attractive island-province of Guimaras proposed to be subject of a biological and physico-chemical assessment of oil-impacted habitats by the University of the Philippines for the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Currently, Carpenter is also Project Manager of the Species Identification Data Program, Marine Resources Service, Fishery Resources and Environment Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He finished his BS Biology, Major in Marine Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology and his Ph.D, Major in Ichthyology from the University of Hawaii. He is an ichthyologist, marine biologist and marine conservationist with 30 years extensive international experience.

Carpenter will share his expertise for free. He is mainly paying for his airfare and accommodation. He has worked in the Philippines as a post-doctoral research associate of United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) CRSP Project of the University of Hawaii and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and as Project Leader, Coral Reef Research, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Manila. (PR, Panay News, Oct. 17, 2006)


One comment

  1. AWARENESS na naman? Ginagawa na tayong mga tanga! Malas lang at ang iba nating mga scientists pumapayag! Alam natin ang kasunod dyan…mga PROJECTS na naman sa mga scientists na ito!!! Kawawa si Mr. Pinoy!

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