Ambassador Jaroslav Olša, jr. signed a new contract today with Fernando Gutierrez, president of the Negros established Talarak Rescue and Conservation Breeding Center. The contract will assure the Talarak the financing of over 1 million pesos in support of protection the endangered species of birds of Philippine Islands. The center has become world famous for breeding animals ten times rarer than the well known panda – the symbol of international nature conservation.
The new contract will fund the reconstruction of Talarak installations damaged during last year as well as the addition of new facilities to the project with the final goal to protect the unique fauna and flora of the Philippines and in support of tourism development on Negros.
The recently signed funds are part of a larger Czech Republic humanitarian and development aid to the Philippines after typhoon Yolanda. According to Ambassador Olša, the “typhoon provoked a strong feeling of togetherness with the Philippines in my country. Seeing the scope of the last year´s tragedy, Czech people were deeply impressed by the determination of the people of the Philippines to recover from this tragedy, and our Government stood up to help through humanitarian assistance in the critical moments shortly after the Yolanda disaster by transferring the funds to Philippine Red Cross.”
In that regard, six different Czech development projects were and are implemented this year only with more coming next year. Working closely with the local authorities, Czech Government and Czech organizations, among them People in Need, Charita and Adra – are implementing their projects in various communities in Eastern Samar, Panay, Bohol, Negros and Mindanao.
As both the Philippines and the Czech Republic are important tourist destinations, the state-run CzechTourism agency is to organize the very first tourism promotion campaign in Manila this year. First direct talks between both national tourism boards are to strengthen the position of the Philippines which lately became a prime tourist destination for the Czechs. „Our aim is also to bring more Czech tourists to the Philippines to enjoy unique fauna and flora. Therefore the Czech government also co-finances projects in the field of biodiversity protecting critically endangered species of birds and mammals as well as tarsiers in Bohol“, says Ambassador Olša.
Czech relationship with Negros has deep roots. Part of the island was evangelized in 17th century by Czech Jesuit Missionaries like father Malinský or father John. The Czech medieval Saint San Juan Nepomuceno is still a popular among local catholic communities and many churches dedicated to him can be found on Negros. It is also worth mentioning that the family of the longest serving Philippine Ambassador to the Czech Republic. HMs. Carmelita Salas hails from the island.
Talarak Rescue and Conservation Breeding Center has been established in 2008 with the participation of Czech zoologist Pavel Hospodářský. It is sponsored mainly by Philippine sponsors nevertheless it has been receiving financial support of several Czech organizations like Zoo Liberec, Faunus or Zoo Pilsen. The center has been successful in breeding many endangered species of Philippine birds and animals in general becoming world famous by it capacity to breed the critically endangered Walden’s hornbill (locally know as Talarak) as one of only 3 places on the world. The center also breeds the critically endangered Visayan Warty Pig as well as the Negros Bleeding Heart Pigeon and the Philippine Spotted Deer.
Talarak Foundation is dully accredited as a DENR Rescue Center for confiscated endagered animals and as a Conservation Breeding Center for Philippine endemics.
Facebook: Talarak Foundation
Embassy of the Czech Republic: www.mfa.cz/manila[/fusion_text]