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In memoriam of Oliver

British national William Oliver, who had devoted his life for almost two decades in conserving the Philippines endemic and threatened species and habitats, passed away night of September 10, 2014.

He was the founding officer of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc., and several other organizations that are championing biodiversity conservation. He was responsible for setting up the Biodiversity Conservation Center at the Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation Inc. in Bacolod City, where captive breeding of highly-threatened species is being undertaken.

I had the chance to work with him during the past years and I guess I made the right decision. It was very challenging, but I learned a lot from him, especially the programatic way of dealing conservation concerns and challenges. He championed the cause of threatened endemic species and habitats in globally important conservation sites in the Philippines.

I am sure his legacy will remain, and he will be missed dearly. I am thankful for the opportunity of knowing him and the things he was passionate about. Allow me to share in this space the tribute given to him by PBCFI president Rafael Coscolluela. The statement goes as follows:

We announce with great sadness that William Oliver, a British national who spent almost two decades in conservation work in the Philippines championing endemic threatened species and habitats, joined his Creator on the night of 10 September 2014 while confined at the Medical Intensive Care Unit of the Makati Medical Center.

William was burdened with health issues over the last year but refused to heed his colleagues’ advise to rest and seek treatment. His work was his life, and his mortal life ended while he was working on plans for a new Biodiversity Conservation and Education Center to be located at the Panaad Park in Bacolod City. William brought to our attention, and the entire global community as well, how important the Philippines is in biodiversity conservation.

He was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Programme, and eventually the existence of the Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc., along with other conservation organizations in the country, such as the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Polillo Islands Biodiversity Conservation Foundation and Cebu Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, while working with several others, among them the Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation, Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, West Visayas State University, and Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.

He will be most remembered for his iconic pioneering artwork “Only in the Philippines” and “Sa Pilipinas Lamang”, which illustrated threatened Philippine endemic species, such as the Philippine Spotted Deer, the Visayan Warty Pig, the Tarictic Hornbill, and the Negros Bleeding Heart Pigeon, in their natural habitats.*

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