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Cutting Edge Solutions to Boost Plant Conservation in the Philippines

The term “technology” has a broad definition that includes virtually any expression of human ingenuity adhered to solving practical problems and thriving as a species. As threats to species’ survival increase, technologies for identifying individual animals, tracking their movements, identifying, and locating animal and plant species, and assessing the status of their habitats have improved, become faster, and less expensive.

New technologies do not save species on their own, and new data creates new problems. Improving technologies alone, for example, will not prevent poaching: solutions must include providing appropriate tools to the right people. Another driver is habitat loss; the challenge here is to link existing sophisticated remote sensing with species occurrence data to predict where species will remain. Other challenges include bringing together a larger public to crowdsource data, managing massive amounts of data generated, and developing solutions to rapidly emerging threats. Ecologists and conservation biologists are important contributors to the advancement of the latter type of technological innovation.

To address this, plant conservationists in the Philippines have joined forces with companies that promote the use of technological innovations to encourage more people to protect the country’s endemic plants.

As more individuals and communities become enchanted by our native flora, we want to show Filipinos that anyone can participate in plant conservation. So, you don’t have to be a botanist to contribute to the body of knowledge that we’re trying to grow. Anyone can be a citizen scientist.

– Vice President of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society

In an online briefing, the vice president of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc. (PNPCSI) stated that the collaboration aims to provide additional online sources for the public to access, among other things, to inform them about diversity in the country and help them become citizen scientists. Apart from the planned citizen scientist mobile app, which will connect people to conservation bids, the partnership also plans to tokenize native trees and carbon sinks, as well as develop video tours on rainforests.

“Our country’s greatest treasures, our competitive advantage, the asset that we have that no one else has also happened to be our best-kept secret. We have so much incredible diversity endemic to our forests, totally unique to us that it exists but a lot of people aren’t aware that it exists, and it doesn’t come to mind at all during the everyday experience,” he said.

According to him, the plan is, to begin with, one or two pilot sites for nature walks. The vice president stated that the goal of these video tours is to eventually replicate the PNPCSI’s tree-walk experience by taking Filipinos into our forests and protecting (them) so that we can see these amazing and vibrant living beings up close and personal.

He went on to say that they plan to work with companies and local governments to compare these videos to actual settings in order to encourage the public to become involved in biodiversity care and conservation.

To that end, the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP) was created. It is a strategic tool whose vision is that by 2028, biodiversity will be restored and rehabilitated, valued, effectively managed, and secured, while preserving ecosystem services to sustain healthy, resilient Filipino communities and delivering benefits to all. The PBSAP integrates and mainstreams the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) into the national development and sectoral planning framework, which includes measurable targets for CBD commitments.

Technology advancements enable conservationists, scientists, and the general public to gain a better understanding of the animals, their habitats, and the threats they may face. In this chapter, I will go over the advantages of using technology in animal ecology and conservation.

There are two major approaches to conserving threatened and endangered wildlife species. The first entails protecting the species within their natural habitat, while the second entails breeding and caring for individual species. The use of technological applications in captivity, such as satellite imaging and assisted breeding technologies, is intended to improve animal welfare and raise awareness of conservation-related behaviour among zoo visitors.

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