Environmental Activists in the Philippines

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  • Environmental Activists from the Philippines


  • These three men were whale shark hunters up to a few years ago when the activity was finally banned.   Today these men lead whale watching tours on the island of Pamilakan in Bohol. The islanders have also created a marine sanctuary on most of the island's western coast.
  • Carlito Pizarras, also known as Tarsir man, is fighting to safe the endangered Philippine Tarsir, the 2nd smallest primate in the world.  He spent his childhood hunting them for taxidermists but became a conservationist when he realized they were disappearing from the forests.  The Latin genus name of the species bares his name.
  • Oyog Arroz is a member of the T'boli tribe who live on the shores of Lake Sebu. Though not strictly an environmental activist she is a T'boli tribal leader and is fighting to keep their culture alive by teaching the next generation about their beliefs and traditions.  The lake has suffered much environmental damage though fish pens and if the T'boli have their way the lake would return to its pristine state.
  • Anna Mai and her co-worker at the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao.  The foundation is desperately fighting to keep the endangered Philippine Eagles alive through a captive breeding program.  While they have successfully bred eagles in captivity their next battle is to find enough rainforests to start a releasing program.
  • Ricer farmer in the Batad Rice Terraces.  These terraced rice fields in the central part of the Philippines were named the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  But in recent years deforestation, pests and neglect threaten the whole farming system.  A small group of farmers are now trying to return to Heirloom rice, the traditional species of rice that has almost disappeared due to the introduction of lowland and imported varieties of rice.
  • Bobby Chan abandoned his law practice to hike into the forests of Palawan and confiscate chainsaws from illegal loggers.  He started doing this 15 years ago and has since confiscated guns, trucks and boats.  He supports local communities that are trying to protect their forests from logging and mining.   
  • The Puerto Princesa Underground River has recently been named at one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.  The complex has become an example to many locals of how the rapidly developing tourism industry can live hand in hand with an environmental agenda.