Overview: The Philippines is considered a mega-diversity country rivaled only by a few countries in the world when it comes to variety of ecosystems, species and genetic resources. Many of the island comprising the archipelago are believed to have a very high degree of land and animal species endemism covering at least 25 genera of plants and 50% of terrestrial wildlife.
The country hosts more than 52,177 described species,of which more than half is found nowhere else in the world. On a per unit area basis, the Philippines probably harbors more diversity of life than any other country on the planet.
From 1997 to 2016, 120 species of wildlife fauna and 170 species of wildlife flora has been discovered and the number is still increasing with studies conducted by the academe, researchers and biodiversity-related funded projects.
Quick Facts about Philippine Biodiversity
One of the 17 Megadiverse Country
Although relatively small among the 17 megadiverse countries, the Philippines has the greatest concentration of unique species per unit area in the world.
60%-70% of the Worlds Biodiversity
Philippines has more than 52,177 described species, half of which are endemic or found nowhere else on earth.
Top 10 in terms of Endemism
The Philippines’s species are among the world’s top 10 in terms of endemism.
In terms of terrestrial vertebrates, the Philippines is known to host 1,238 species of which 618 (or 50%) is endemic.
One of the 17 Megadiverse County
Mega diverse countries comprise two thirds of the earth’s biological wealth and host some 70-80 percent of the world’s biodiversity resources that present potentials for biodiversity friendly businesses that can support economic development of theses countries.
One of the Biodiversity Hotspots
Although considered to be a mega – diversity country, the Philippines is also considered as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots or biologically rich areas around the world that have lost at least 70 percent of their original habitat and with at least 700 threatened species most of which are caused by by human activities and threatened by destruction.
Benefits: The Philippines derives large benefits from ecosystems. In particular, the country recognizes the important role played by watersheds, river basins and coastal areas in the environment and in society as a source of livelihood (supporting fisheries, recreation and tourism and many other activities). For instance, a watershed with adequate forest cover provides water that supports lowland agriculture, prevents soil erosion and siltation of coasts and water bodies, and sustains the supply of surface and groundwater for domestic use. Likewise, the forest ecosystem provides ecological services that benefit agriculture, industries, water and power needs.
Production forest areas for tree plantations and agroforestry activities are sources of jobs and revenues, with agriculture having represented 18.4% of the country’s GDP in 2007.