DAVAO CITY — Environment groups in Davao City launched a signature campaign to call for the cancellation of a timber permit issued to cut down century-old trees in Mounts Makabol-Alikoson Conservation Area (MMACA), which is believed to be “an ancient nesting site” of the critically endangered Philippine eagle.
The petition calls on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Region XI to “cancel Private Land Timber Permit No. RXI-PLTP-001 2021 issued for the cutting of 121 old-growth trees within the MMACA.”
The area, estimated to cover 8,819 hectares, “supports the lives and livelihoods of over 6,000 residents of Barangay Salaysay in the uplands of Davao City,” the petition said.
The petition, which has over 700 signatures as of Monday morning (Nov. 29), was initiated by the Ecoteneo, Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability (IDIS), Philippine Eagle Foundation, Save Macabol Forest and Watershed, Students’ Environmental Alliance of Davao.
According to the petition the MMACA is an “ancient nesting site of a Philippine Eagle pair.”
“The eagle couple’s first nest was recorded by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) in 1986. The eagle pair hatched and raised at least 12 young eagles in five nesting trees within MMACA since then,” the petition read.
“However, based on Obu Manuvu oral history in Salaysay, the mighty Banog (or Philippine Eagle) has always existed in the area,” it added.
The petition also calls on the DENR to “affirm MMACA’s designation as an environmentally critical area in the Davao City Watershed Management Code.”
It also calls on the DENR to improve its protection as a conservation area.