Published 13 November 2020, The Daily Tribune
As the COVID-19 pandemic has kept most of us in our homes, many have made use of their time to master new skills or develop new hobbies. One of which is “plant parenting.” The surge of plant titas has increased the demand for indoor and outdoor plants in the market. Prices of plants would vary depending on their variegation or rarity.
While the selling of plants has become a lucrative source of income these days, the sale and ownership of plants classified under DAO 2017-11 issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as threatened plants are prohibited. DAO 2017-11 was issued pursuant to Section 22 of Republic Act (RA) 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, which is an act that provides for the conservation and protection of wildlife resources and their habitats.
RA 9147 defines “wildlife” as wild forms and varieties of flora and fauna, in all developmental stages, including those, which are in captivity or are being bred or propagated.
Section 22 of the said law provides that the Secretary (DENR) shall determine whether any wildlife species or subspecies is threatened, and classify the same as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or other accepted categories based on the best scientific data and with due regard to internationally accepted criteria, including but not limited to the following: present or threatened destruction, modification or curtailment of its habitat or range; over-utilization for commercial, recreational, scientific or educational purposes; inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; and other natural or man-made factors affecting the existence of wildlife.
The Secretary shall review, revise and publish the list of categorized threatened wildlife. Threatened Species denote species or subspecies considered as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or other accepted categories of wildlife whose populations are at risk of extinction. These shall include varieties, formae or other infraspecific categories.
DAO 2017-11 has listed the names of plants that are classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable and Other Threatened Species. The list is based on the best scientific and internationally accepted criteria, including but not limited to the following: (1) present destruction, modification or curtailment of its habitat or range; (2) over utilization for commercial, recreational, scientific or educational purposes; (3) other natural or man-made factors affecting existence of wildlife; 4) perceived/observed population size reduction; 5) species’ geographic range (extent of occurrence and/or area of occupancy), 6) small population size and continuing decline in such population; and, 7) very small or restricted population.
It shall be unlawful for any person, group, or entity to collect and/or trade wild plant species listed under DAO 2017-11, unless such acts are covered by a permit issued by the DENR and the species are found in areas under a valid tenure instrument or a parcel of land covered by a title under the Torrens System. The law imposes a penalty that ranges from P100,000 to P1,000,000 fine and imprisonment of six years to 12 years.
Wildness should always be taken in the proper context, and so with the act of collecting and/or trading wild plants.
For comments and questions, please send an email to email@example.com.