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WILDLIFE RESOURCES CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION ACT: ENSURING ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY
Republic Act 9147
(source: KONGGRESO NG BAYAN, January 2002 Issue)
 
 

Approved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was an important legislative measure geared towards ensuring environmental sustainability. Originating in the House of Representatives as HB 10622, filed by Rep. J.R. Nereus O. Acosta, the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (RA 9147) aims to protect our country’s fauna from illicit trade, abuse and destruction, through (1) conserving and protecting wildlife species and their habitats, (2) regulating the collection and trade of wildlife, (3) pursuing, with due regard to the national interest, the Philippine commitment to international conventions, protection of wildlife and their habitats, and (4) initiating or supporting scientific studies on the conservation of biological diversity.

The provisions of this Act shall be enforceable for all wildlife species found in all areas of the country, including critical habitats and protected areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act. Exotic species, or species which do not naturally occur in the country, are also covered by this Act. All designated critical habitats shall be protected, in coordination with the local government units and other concerned groups, from any form of exploitation or destruction which may be detrimental to the survival of species dependent upon these areas.

The introduction, reintroduction or re-stocking of endemic and indigenous wildlife shall be allowed only for population enhancement or recovery. Any introduction shall be subject to a scientific study. The Act also prohibits the introduction of exotic species into protected areas and critical habitats. If and when introduction is allowed, it shall be subjected to environmental impact assessment and the informed consent from local stakeholders.

Conservation breeding or propagation of threatened species shall be encouraged to enhance its population in its natural habitat. Breeding shall be done simultaneously with the rehabilitation and protection of the habitat where the captive-bred or propagated species shall be released or reintroduced. When economically important species become threatened, collection shall be limited to scientific, educational or breeding purposes.

The Act makes it unlawful for any person to undertake the following:

killing and destroying wildlife species, except when it is done as part of the religious rituals of established tribal groups or indigenous cultural communities, when the wildlife is afflicted with an incurable communicable disease, when it is deemed necessary to put an end to the misery suffered by the wildlife, or when it is done to prevent an imminent danger to the life or limb of a human being; when the wildlife is killed or destroyed after it has been used in authorized research or experiments

inflicting injury which cripples and/or impairs the reproductive system of wildlife species

effecting any of the following acts in critical habitats: dumping of waste products detrimental to wildlife; squatting or otherwise occupying any portion of the critical habitat; mineral exploration and/or extraction; burning; logging; and quarrying

introduction, reintroduction, or restocking of wildlife resources

trading of wildlife

collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives

gathering or destroying of active nests, nest trees, host plants and the like

maltreating and/or inflicting other injuries not covered by the preceding paragraph; and

transporting of wildlife.

For any person who undertakes these illegal acts, stiff penalties and fines are meted out. Imprisonment of as much as 12 years and a fine of P1 million pesos shall be imposed, if inflicted or undertaken against species listed as critical.

A Wildlife Management Fund to be derived from fines imposed and damages awarded, fees, charges, donations, endowments, administrative fees or grants, shall be administered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as a special account in the National Treasury. It will be used primarily to finance rehabilitation or restoration of habitats due to violations of this Act. The Fund will also support scientific research, enforcement and monitoring activities, as well as enhancement of capabilities of relevant agencies.

With the approval of The Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, Congress continues its commitment to protect the environment to ensure an economically and ecologically sustainable future, following the constitutional mandate of the State to protect and advance the right of its people to “a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with rhythm and harmony of nature.”


Download or print a copy of Republic Act 9147 in pdf:
http://www.bic.searca.org/resources/docs/ra-9147.pdf
(source: Malacañang Records Office)

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