Did you know that Mindoro Island, located in the Philippines, boasts a remarkable natural treasure? With 19% of its land covered in diverse forest types and hosting the world’s largest concentration of coastal fishes, corals, crustaceans, mollusks, seagrasses, and mangroves, Mindoro stands as a significant biodiversity hotspot. Scientists estimate that this lush island is home to over 1,316 species of plant and animal life and 2,983 species of marine life. This includes 52 endemic bird species, six of which are threatened, and seven endemic species of mammals, 2 of which are critically endangered. Mindoro also houses at least 16 species of flowering plants, 3 of which are endemic. Mindoro is literally an Eden off the coast of Luzon. This Eden – this tapestry of biodiversity and natural resources – is what the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (MBCFI) seeks to conserve. MBCFI aims to empower Mindoreños towards increased awareness and care for their environment, and to this end, the MBCFI has developed the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Center (MBCC).
The Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Center
MBCC will become Mindoro’s “Center” for conservation promoting the island’s natural beauty, it’s history, culture, and unique biodiversity, as well as its impact on society and climate change. The Center located in Puerto Galera will have three major components:
#1. Research and Education comprise a research laboratory, museum, library, audio-visual room, and conference room. A place where other researchers can conduct their studies and a repository of specimens and data.
#2. The arboretum and demonstration site will serve as a tourist attraction and a forest restoration project providing green jobs for the locals. It will house sustainable farming practices, which include nursery, vermicomposting, beekeeping, etc.
#3. Heritage hall that will promote the Mangyan culture, their produce, and handicrafts.
Construction of Phase 1 began in September of 2020, and today three MBCC buildings, including the utility room, have been erected. The existing buildings earned an EDGE Advanced Green Building Certification, from the design to construction, the MBCC is a resource-efficient structure and Zero Carbon Ready. Phases 2 to 5 are hoped to be constructed by the end of 2025. The Center’s new features will include eco-lodges, an amphitheater, a Heritage Hall for Mangyan communities, a view deck, a camping area, a discovery trail, and a Wildlife Rescue center.
Upon completion, the MBCC will indeed be a center bringing various cultures to learn, appreciate and come together to preserve the Eden that is Mindoro.
For more information on MBCC and how you can support the project, please www.mbcfi.org.ph site.
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources Forest Management Bureau (Dec 2010) Forest Cover of Mimaropa (By Province, area in Hectares) Forest Management Bureau
- Karpenter, Kent E. The Center of the Center of marine shore fish biodiversity: The Philippine Islands. Researchgate
- Oriental Mindoro, PH Province iNaturalist
- Mindoro Island Specialty Birds List. Exotic Birding