DOST-PCAARRD’s 'Saribuhay’ YouTube series to be aired in November

Published October 30, 2021, 4:59 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Do you want to know more about the Philippines’ biodiversity science and technology (S&T) program?

(DOST-PCAARRD)

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) announced that it will be showcasing the outputs of its funded biodiversity program through a YouTube series dubbed as “Saribuhay,” a Filipino term for biodiversity.

“The series, which will air in November, will tackle the accomplishments of the four sub-programs: terrestrial (flora and fauna) biodiversity, marine biodiversity, indigenous plants, and native animals biodiversity,” the Council said.

“The program, as a whole, aims to sustain and take care of the Philippines’ biodiversity through formulation of policies in the access and benefit-sharing of our genetic resources.”

The Council shared the preview of the Saribuhay series during a virtual press conference held on Oct. 28.

“Our country is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries in the world. It is in our country where globally-important species of animals, plants, and microorganisms can be found,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña.

“Our country is also considered as the “center of marine biodiversity in the world.” However, for us to sustain this title, we need to know how to care for our biodiversity,” he stressed.

As a signatory to the Convention of Biological Diversity, the Philippines has been recognized for its commitment to continue studying new species of animals and plants and implementing projects to help sustain the country’s biodiversity.

Featured projects and accomplishments

One of the major projects that will be featured in the Saribuhay series is the “Flora & Fauna Assessment Using Permanent Biodiversity System in Cebu Island Key Biodiversity Areas” project.

Northern Temple Philippine Pit Viper (National Museum of the Philippines/DOST-PCAARRD)

Covered by the project were the new species of flora and fauna in Cebu Island Key Biodiversity Areas in Mt. Lantoy, Mt. Kapayas, and Nug-as Forest.

“Project accomplishments included discovery of new species of orchid in Mt. Lantoy; new species distribution records of Northern Temple Philippine Pit Viper and two endangered bird species, Cebu Black Shama and Cebu Hawk Owl; record of distribution of native tree species and record of unique behavior of fruit bats that eat roots and leaves instead of the usual fruits,” the DOST-PCAARRD said.

The Cebu Technological University (CTU) served as lead implementor of the project. Also involved in the program were the University of the Philippines Cebu, Bohol Island State University, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), National Research Council of the Philippines, University of San Carlos, and Central Visayas Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources R&D Consortium ( CVAARRDEC).

The second project that will be showcased in the series was implemented by Central Mindanao University, UPLB, Davao Oriental State University, and Philippine National Museum. It zeroed in on the biodiversity in selected mountain ecosystems of Mindanao for conservation and sustainable development.

The researchers conducted notable documentations. These include three new species of plants from Mt. Hamiguitan, Mt. Apo, Mt. Pantaron Range, and Mt. Tago Range; a flowering plant that sources its nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi; new species of Snoutbeetle in Mt. Hamiguitan, and the four-spined pygmy devil in Mt. Pantaron Range, which was not recorded in over a century.

Indigenous Plants and Native Animals Biodiversity S&T Program

The project, “Documentation of Indigenous Vegetables in the Philippines” will also be part of the Saribuhay series.

Led by UPLB researchers, the project documented indigenous vegetables from 20 provinces in the country and recorded 457 indigenous vegetables belonging to 255 genera and 90 families. This was part of the Indigenous Plants and Native Animals Biodiversity S&T Program.

News species of flower, Hypericum perryongii Galindon, sp. nov. (National Museum of the Philippines/DOST-PCAARRD)

The DOST-PCAARRD said another project under this program is the “Conservation, Improvement and Profitable Utilization of the Philippine Native Pigs.”

Under the initiative, six native pig breeds—Markaduke from Marinduque; Quezon black from Quezon province; ISUbela from Isabela province; Benguet from Benguet province; Yookah from Kalinga province, and Sinirangan from Eastern Samar— were developed through organized community-based breeding and selection.

“These native pig breeds boast of high-quality meat compared with commercial hybrid pig breeds,” the Council said.

The project is spearheaded by Marinduque State College, together with the Bureau of Animal Industry – National Swine and Poultry R&D Center, Isabela State University, Benguet State University, Kalinga State University, and Eastern Samar State University.

Marine Biodiversity S&T Program

The Saribuhay series will also feature the seven projects under the Marine Biodiversity S&T Program.

The program oversees the ecological and ecosystem diversity management and conservation, assessment and monitoring, and sustainable use of our marine resources.

Giant clam (UP Marine Science Institute/ DOST-PCAARRD)

The seven ‘marine biodiversity’ projects are the following:

-Exploration, Mapping and Assessment of Deep-Water Areas (Philippine Rise);

-Assessing the status of giant clams and advancing culture techniques;

-Studies on the Biology and Utilization of Commercially Important Mollusk Species in Panay Island in Western Visayas, Philippines (NICER for Mollusk Program);

-DNA Barcoding and Genetic Diversity of Selected Marine Fishes Along the North Bifurcation of the North Equatorial Current (NEC);

-DNA Barcoding of Selected Marine Fishes in Davao and Sulu Archipelago (MINDA);

-Stock Assessment and Reproductive Biology of Blue Swimming Crab (Portunus pelagicus Linnaeus, 1758) and other crustaceans in Maqueda Bay, Villareal Bay, Zumarraga Channel and Southeastern Samar Sea (NICER for Crustacean Program); and

-Central Visayas R&D Center for Biodiversity: Project 3. Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Seagrasses in Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines (NICER Program).

Involved in these projects were researchers from UP Diliman, UP-Marine Science Institute, Davao del Norte State College, Western Philippines University, De La Salle University, UP Los Baños, UP-National Institute of Geological Science, UP Mindanao, UP Visayas, Samar State University, and University of San Carlos.

The DOST-PCAARRD said through the program, it was discovered that eight out of 11 species of giant clams in the world can be found in the Philippines.

It said other accomplishments of the program included: record of 75 percent to 100 percent of live corals in Benham Bank of Philippine Rise, and contribution of marine biological features and resources in Benham Bank Seamount that led to declaration of 50,000 hectares of the area as a Marine Protected Area and more than 300,000 hectares as Special Fisheries Management Area according to the Proclamation No. 489, Philippine Rise Marine Resource Reserve in 2018.

“Moreover, 150 reef fish species were recorded in Northern Luzon and 373 reef fishes in Southern Mindanao. More than 304 reef fishes were also recorded in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. Of this number 200 genetic barcodes were added to the biodiversity database of UP Mindanao.”

“In Panay Island, it was recorded that there is high mollusk diversity as well as the high production of cephalopod fishery.”

The program also paved the way for the development of a hatchery protocol seeking to address the low catch rate of blue swimming crab in Southeast Samar and Maqueda Bay.

An additional red alga and 11 species of seagrass were discovered in Camos Island, the DOST-PCAARRD noted.

The Saribuhay Series: DOST-PCAARRD Biodiversity S&T Program was among 21 high-impact technologies, and game-changing research and development (R&D) projects and innovations or the so-called “Big 21 in 2021” unveiled on Sept. 7

The series can be viewed in DOST-PCAARRD’s YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/dostpcaarrd.

 
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