The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines
The official website of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines

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The Freeman

The Freeman
Thursday, August 30, 2007
p. 6
byWenna A. Berondo

Mayor says wildlife conservation and industrialization can co-exist

A group of wildlife enthusiasts has offered their expertise to help the city government preserve the wetland portion of the South Road Properties, which has already become a sanctuary to different kinds of migratory birds.

The offer of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines was very much welcomed by Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who said the city would do its best to preserve the wetland even if economic locators would occupy the 296-hectare facility in the future.

Philippine Ducks
Philippine Ducks photographed at the SRP
Osmeña admitted that one of hid greatest fears is that birds might be driven away once the investors are already occupying the area.

"We will try to keep where it is. We will set aside something for birds even if we develop SRP for the investors," Osmeña said.

"We are the only real estate development in the country that attracted wildlife," something he said he takes pride on.

"Ever since I'm a child, I have never seen a wild duck in Cebu, not even in the province. Now it's in the SRP," he said.

With this, he said that the city would be spending around P 100 million to develop the wetland portion at Pond B by deepening the excavation converting it into a small lake.

He said the city would develop it in such a way that when it rains, the water would be directed towards the excavation so there would be water in the area throughout the year for birds.

In fact, Osmeña said that he is planning to go to Hong Kong to study how they attract wildlife even if they are considered one of the most industrialized countries in the world. "I think it is important that we look at the models, otherwise we will just be guessing," he said.

Officials of the WBCP yesterday paid the mayor a visit at the City Hall to inform him on their preparations for the celebration of the 3rd Philippine Bird Festival on September 21-22 that would be hosted by Cebu City.
Pond B
Pond B as seen from the main road

The city government is one of the sponsors of the festival whichis aimed at promoting wildlife awareness, especially birds.

Michael Lu, WBCP president, said they have chosen Cebu City to host the 3rd Bird Festival because Cebu is home to several endemic bird species, yet very few people know about them." "We want to increase awareness of Cebuanos on birds," he said.