by Rex Godinez Ortega
Conservation practitioners and environmental educators from island nations are gathering in MSU-IIT this September to participate in ISLA Philippines.
The Island Species-Led Action (ISLA) 2010 – Philippines is a 10-day course designed to teach participants coming from conservation hotspot countries proven and practical approaches to managing endangered species and habitats on islands.
One of the world’s leading conservation groups – The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, is leading ISLA 2010 through its international training team in partnership with its Philippine host, MSU-IIT.
MSU-IIT through its Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research & Extension (OVCRE) will host the lectures and discussions in Iligan City, and lead field trips to conservation sites in Mindanao from Sept. 13 to 22, 2010.
Vice Chancellor for Research & Extension, Dr. Olga M. Nuñeza, said ISLA Philippines is designed for island species and habitat conservation managers from the public and private sectors, and academic staff from universities and colleges from island nations.
“It would focus on the recovery of endangered birds and mammals, with special attention to threats such as invasive species, habitat loss, habitat destruction and hunting,” Nuneza said.
Nuneza – who attended ISLA 2007 in Guam, USA – said that the purpose of ISLA 2010 is to increase the capacity of island species conservationists working in the Philippines and the South East Asian sub-region to manage the recovery of threatened endemic species.
The ISLA course was given by the International Training Center of Durrell in Fiji for 2009 and in Jersey, UK in 2008.
ISLA was developed by Durrell in response to the discovery that island species were disappearing at a much faster rate than their continental counterparts.