Good news for the Philippine Cockatoo

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In April we told you about the dangers that the Philippine Cockatoo was facing. Today we write this to share the good news: the local government is against the construction of the power plant that would put this critically endangered animal under heavy risk.

In a major development to protect the critically endangered Philippine Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia) from potential catastrophe, on June 11th the legislature of the Municipality of Narra officially declared its opposition (Resolution 2013-1935) to the construction of a coal-fired power-plant within its district of Panacan. The DMCI Power Corporation has declared its intention to construct the power-plant only one kilometre away from the Rasa Island Wildlife Sanctuary, which holds 25% of the world’s population of approximately 1,000 birds of this endemic Philippine species.

Since the end of the 1990’s, the Rasa population has increased ten-fold due to the conservation programme run by the Philippine-based Katala Foundation and local communities, with support from the Loro Parque Fundación of Spain, Chester Zoo, UK, CEPA (Conservation des Espèces et des Populations Animales) and Asociación Beauval de Conservation et Recherche, France and ZGAP (Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations), Germany.

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The Narra Municipality Resolution recognises the negative direct and indirect effects of a coal-fired power plant on the survival of the Philippine Cockatoo, and cites other potential problems including harm to health. It concludes that the measures the government has already invested in environmental protection in the region far outweigh the purported economic benefits and opportunities related to a coal-fired power plant.

Furthermore, the Resolution castigates the DMCI Power Corporation for its negligence in observing the procedures required for such a development. Specifically, the DMCI representatives have not been able to extensively discuss, present of even provide copy of the Initial Environment Examination Report, nor concrete mitigating measures for environmental and health impacts. The Resolution notes that the Local Government Code of 1991 tasks the Municipality of Narra to enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology.

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