The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has recognized its outstanding partners in wildlife protection and preservation in Ilocos Norte.
As a highlight of the World Wildlife Day celebration in the province, the DENR, led by Regional Executive Director Carlito Tuballa, presented on Thursday a plaque of appreciation to Sherman Valdez, president of the Saud-Paratong Fishermen’s Association in Badoc, Ilocos Norte; Darwin Cayabyab, a fisherman from Maglaoi, Currimao; and Jimmy Abraham of the coastal village of Saud, also in Badoc.
“It lifts up my spirit to be recognized and the most rewarding part of it is to know that I have contributed a little for the protection of the environment,” Valdez said.
The village councilor, who is also a deputized ocean patroller, said his association has been fully aware that catching sea turtles and marine mammals is punishable by imprisonment of at least 12 years.
Thus, it has been a practice of his association to report and rescue sea turtles or other endangered marine mammals within their vicinity, he said.
With this year’s celebration carrying the theme “Life below water: For people and planet”, Tuballa underscored that saving the threatened “pawikan” and all other critically-endangered wildlife species is a main focus of the environment department.
“We all want people to be educated and we are seeking the help of the local government units (LGUs) to join our advocacy,” he said.
For the month of March, the DENR, in partnership with the province’s LGUs, has joined cleanup drives in coastal and inland bodies of water in the province.
On Wednesday, a group of volunteers, among them resort owners, municipal and village officials in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, collected household wastes and other non-biodegradable materials along the Padsan river.
Meanwhile, Tuballa was in Laoag Thursday to officiate the oath-taking of the 25 newly-designated wildlife enforcement officers in the province. (PNA)
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