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After the success of the film Taklub, Senator Loren Legarda and internationally-acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza team up once again for the first ever Protected Areas documentary series to air on Philippine television.

The documentary series titled, Our Fragile Earth: Protected Areas of the Philippines, was conceptualized by Loren and produced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Airing weekly on ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel starting this Saturday (December 9), it consists of 12 short documentaries that were shot by Brillante on location and took two years to finish.

Loren and Brillante have worked together on several documentaries (Buhos, Ligtas, Philippine Marine Biodiversity, and Antique: Coral Restoration Program) and a full-length film, Taklub (which was part of the 68th Cannes International Film Festival and earned a special commendation from the Festival’s Ecumenical Jury). Through “Our Fragile Earth,” Loren and Brillante hope to raise awareness on the country’s critical biodiversity areas.

“This series aims to educate citizens on our protected areas, which are critical in conserving our biodiversity that is essential to our existence and survival. Through this documentary series, Filipinos will learn more about our protected areas—the richness of these areas and the challenges in conservation. We want Filipinos to appreciate the unique natural heritage that we have and enjoin everyone to protect them,” Loren said.

Protected areas are identified portions of land and water set aside by reasons of their unique physical and biological significance, managed to enhance biological diversity and protected against destructive human exploitation. There are 240 identified protected areas in the country.

The senator said that the first episode will be about the Apo Reef Natural Park in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.

“Beneath the waters of Apo Reef Natural Park is a world that many of us have not seen. A wide array of marine species—from moray eels and turtles, to sharks, jacks, tuna, barracudas, and dolphins— live there. To protect the biodiversity of the world’s second largest connecting coral reef, a no take zone policy, which is considered as one of the best practices in the country, is being strictly implemented,” she said.

Other protected areas that will be featured in the series are: Camotes Island Mangrove Swamp Forest Reserve, El Nido Managed Resource Protected Area, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Sagay Marine Reserve, Mt. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Coron Island, Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (UNESCO World Heritage Site), and Lake Sebu, which is part of the Allah Valley Protected Landscape.

The series will also feature the Ifugao Rice Terraces, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Verde Island, which is considered the center of the center of the world’s marine biodiversity.

The Protected Areas documentary series will air every Saturday starting December 9, 7:45 a.m., on the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), with replays every Sunday, 1:45 p.m.

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