Ten curators and staff of the UPLB Museum of Natural History were among the invited experts in a consultation workshop to refine the methods for assessing biodiversity in urban ecosystems organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) and AVILON Wildlife Conservation Foundation, Inc. in Rodriguez, Rizal last on 20-22 September 2017.

Among the experts who reviewed the methods for different taxa include Prof. Phillip A. Alviola, Prof. Judeline C. Dimalibot, and Mr. James Alvarez for mammals; Dr. Ireneo L. Lit, Jr., Dr. Sheryl A. Yap, Mr. Cristian C. Lucanas for arthropods; Dr. Leticia E. Afuang for amphibians and reptiles; Dr. Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez for birds; and Prof. Pastor L. Malabrigo, Jr., and Dr. Nelson M. Pampolina for flora.

Anchored on the Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity or more popularly known as City Biodiversity Index, the team reviewed the indicators that will be used in assessing the biodiversity in selected major urban cities in the Philippines.

CBI is a “self-assessment tool for cities to benchmark and monitor the progress of their biodiversity conservation efforts against their own individual baselines”.

Dr. Jean Caleda, associate dean for research and governance practice at Ateneo de Manila University facilitated the discussions wherein the experts presented the methods for different terrestrial taxa that are most suitable in urban landscapes.

Mr. Carlo Custodio, freelance consultant and adviser of the DENR, further reiterated that the index should not be highly academic and should be easy to use rather than being an additional burden. Although they admitted that this is still in its infancy, BMB is positive to come up with a more comprehensive guideline for urban biodiversity assessment.

Other invited experts were from the Philippine National Museum, Far Eastern University, Ateneo de Manila University, UP Diliman, Haribon Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc., University of Sto. Tomas, and several regional offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


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