What Conservation Work Taught Me

What Conservation Work Taught Me

Diego Salcedo / Conservation / 5 Min Read 

Being one of the 17 mega diverse countries, the Philippines is definitely worth exploring, even beyond our usual vacation spots.

Some places that might interest those who are looking for adventure include Mt. Iglit-baco in Mindoro to spot the tamaraws, some mountain ranges in Luzon and Mindanao to catch a glimpse of the Philippine eagle, and Apo reef to dive in the second largest connecting reef in the world. 

Volunteering and working for our environment takes sacrifice and is definitely no easy task; but the fulfillment that it brings is unmatched. I am most grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from my mentors in this field, and having the opportunity to directly help and immerse myself in different communities. 



With @ecoexplorations @phparksandbiodiversity and @forestfoundationph, we are able to support our courageous rangers who tirelessly protect and reforest a portion of the Sierra Madre mountain range in the Ipo watershed. When they are not nurturing the seedlings that they have planted or patrolling the forests of Ipo watershed, they are touring and sharing their knowledge to those who are keen to know more about our shared advocacy through learning visits in our nursery site.



My advocacy and commitment to protect our environment stemmed from my love for animals and my fascination for the wilderness. Who would’ve known that watching Simba, Pumbaa, and Timone every day as a toddler would inspire me later on? Adventures with friends also helped me develop my interest in understanding our environment better.

My hope is that those who get to enjoy the beauty of mother nature grow a deeper appreciation not just for its aesthetics, but also for its functions and services that are essential to us.


Choosing to fully pursue a career in conservation is a lifelong sacrifice and commitment, as I have observed from my mentors in the academe and in the NGO sector, and as I have realized as soon as I chose to dedicate myself into this advocacy. I was able to confirm right away that studying environmental science isn’t all just fun and adventure. In fact, we haven’t had field work yet due to the ongoing pandemic. I struggled through my first year in graduate school trying to understand the different processes in our ecosystems, but I look forward to the day when I can just randomly and confidently share my knowledge and random fun facts when I’m out exploring with friends.



Learning about how complex different environmental issues and problems are on a profound level can and will open your eyes to harsh and unfortunate realities. Regrettably, our country has consistently been one of the deadliest places to be in for environmental defenders (who are usually rangers or from indigenous groups) in the world. They are who inspire me the most in my continuous choice to heavily involve myself in the protection of our environment.  

Despite these realities, there is reason to believe that there is still hope for our environment, especially if we all continue to work together and inspire more people to join us.

Diego Salcedo is currently taking his Masters in Environmental Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He also enjoys drawing and painting wildlife. You may view his art here


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