PANAY FOREST TAPPED FOR ECO-TOURISM
Iloilo City, Dec. 7, 1997 - The forests on the northwestern portions of Panay Island will be preserved and will be the focal point of Panay as an excellent eco-tourism destination.
The Department of Tourism, which has identified the area, has scheduled several seminars on nature tourism in order to raise the awareness of Panay residents on the integration of ecological protection and tourism promotion.
Scientists have noted with alarm that without proper conservation efforts, the remaining swath of priceless lowland forests along the northwestern side of Antique and Aklan may vanish in five to ten years.
The tract of old-growth forest, estimated at 2,500 hectares, and with an elevation of 200 to 900 meters, lies in the towns of Pandan and Libertad in Antique and Nabas in Aklan province. The old-growth trees are covered by layers of moss and various ferns, orchids and pitcher plants. The forest canopy shelters rattan, large tree ferns and fig trees.
The forest is home to the endangered Visayan spotted deer, the warty pig and 16 critically endangered Philippine endemic bird species, all found only in Western Visayas.
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