The Philippines is identified as one of the world’s 17 most biologically rich countries. Its terrestrial and marine habitats are characterized by high endemism – nearly half of all its flora and fauna are unique to the 7,641 islands. However, it is also one of the hotspots for biodiversity loss, and ranks among the top ten countries with the largest number of species threatened with extinction (CI, 2013; DENR, 2015). Among the threats to biodiversity are habitat loss and degradation, overexploitation for trade or leisure, pollution, climate change and introduction of invasive alien species. On the other hand, the conservation and protection of threatened species delivers multiple benefits. Many wildlife species serve as indicators of ecosystem health, provide sources of food, pharmaceuticals and livelihood, and represent the country’s cultural heritage. Thus, improving and maintaining the conservation status of terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna should be regarded as a step towards preventing possible extinction and sustaining the ecosystem services that they provide.
TARGET 1: By 2028, the conservation status of nationally and globally threatened species in the country from 2016 levels is maintained or improved.