Visited the just opened Museum of Natural History of the Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanic Gardens (NUEBG). On display at the museum is an impressive array of life forms curated by the one and only Michael Agbayani Calaramo. A living testament to the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the Ilocos provinces, the collection underscores the interdependence of species.
While touring the galleries, I could not help but brood on a growing local issue. Loosely defined laws and policies pertaining to environment and rapid development in the last year or so have become the biggest threats to local biodiversity and ecosystems. Worth significant mention is the recent loss of tens of thousands of life-supporting trees and destruction of natural habitats, in exchange for wind and solar farms, not to mention each company’s own set of transmission towers, and the imminent loss of another hundreds of evergreen trees (Casuarina equisetifolia) in Bimmanga, Currimao, for another solar plant project (read an ongoing petition on change.org here).
A member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, NUEBG hosts 2,100 catalogued plant species and preserved plant specimens. The addition of the Museum of Natural History benefits biodiversity education.
Northwestern University Ecotourism Park & Botanic Gardens Museum of Natural History (NUEBG-MNH) Gov. Elizabeth Marcos Keon Rd, Payas-Samac, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte
Photographed by Brandon Tan and BlauEarth
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