More support for the Butanding (Whale Shark).
For generations, this scenic, seaside town has been home to a special inhabitant, one that is as gentle as it is powerful, and as vulnerable as it is massive. Sorsogon’s waters have one of the highest concentrations of whale sharks — an endangered species locally known as butanding — in the world.
But the townsfolk of Donsol are facing an uphill battle in ensuring that the creatures remain protected. Since embarking on a three-year biodiversity conservation program dubbed Adopt-a-Species initiative from 2007 to 2010, Cemex Philippines has taken steps to promote awareness about the program by helping Donsol’s local government. Until now, the company continues to work with the local government, Conservation International and the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources to identify opportunities in strengthening the program. “As part of our sustainability business model, we support and even initiate environmental programs that help preserve our natural environment and biodiversity,” said Cemex Philippines president Pedro Palomino. “In 2007 when Cemex Philippines launched the Adopt-a-Species program in Donsol, we tapped the local government of and Conservation International Philippines to educate the locals on the importance of the butandings to their town and to the ecosystem. After that, we were pleased to see how the local government continued what we started,” Palomino continued. Donsol’s local government has taken initiatives such as educating tourists at their Tourism Center and setting strict guidelines for butanding interaction, which are implemented by BIOs or Butanding Interaction Officers. The Butanding Festival, on the other hand, is an annual event at Donsol that not only celebrates the municipality’s pride and love for the animal, but also aims to educate other people outside of Donsol about the butandings. In 2010, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau intensified its campaign for biodiversity protection by offering tax breaks to firms who would contribute to the effort.
Cemex Philippines is the manufacturer of the only Green eco-labeled cement brands in the country, including Island Portland Cement, Rizal Portland Super, Rizal Masonry Cement, Palitada King, APO Portland Cement, APO Portland Premium. APO Masonry Cement and APO Pozzolan. For more information log on to http://www.cemexphilippines.com or for partnerships and initiatives, contact the Public Affairs Unit and e-mail
Written by Tribune – Monday, 25 June 2012