Three events were held by the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) to celebrate the World Wetlands Day – Forum on Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People (19 February 2008), Advocacy Outreach to Lakeshore Communities of Taguig City (23 February 2008), and Ecological Camp for the Youth of Pangil (27-29 February 2008).  Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People was the theme of the celebration.

Forum on Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People

A Forum on Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People, which was attended by the faculty, students and staff of Mindanao State University – TawiTawi, representatives from the government, and community leaders, was held at Mindanao State University – Tawi Tawi.

Resource persons of the forum were Atty. Ipat Luna of and Prof. Filemon G. Romero.  Atty. Luna stressed the need for an intensive information campaign prior to the legislation passage of the Tawi-Tawi environment code in order to have better chance to generate voluntary compliance from the community.  She also emphasized that any legislative measure should have real inputs from the people so that it will generate public support.

Prof. Romero gave emphasis on the importance of the many wetlands of Tawi-Tawi, such as the lakes of Mapun, which is the source of food/fish and clean water; the marshlands of Sanga-Sanga, which is the source of water for Bongao; the tidal flats of Sitangkai, which is source of seaweeds and other commercial invertebrates;  Languyan Bay, which is the home of the salt water crocodile; the mangrove forests, which are the nesting grounds to important species of birds.  Since Tawi-Tawi has one of the highest prevalence of water-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, and digestive infections (including cholera), he called on a more focused action to manage the wetlands so that they will continue to provide food and clean water and thus keeping the communities healthy.

The holding of the forum was in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, Mindanao State University – Tawi-Tawi and the provincial government of Tawi-Tawi.

Advocacy Outreach to Taguig City lakeshore communities

At the Blissful Festival  held on 23 – 25 February 2008 at Ibayo-Tipas, Taguig City, the SCPW conducted a lecture-workshop to the lakeshore communities of Ibayo-Tipas on how the conservation of Laguna de Bay’s environment and resources can affect their health.  The festivities was organized the Seva Dharma Mission, in cooperation with the SCPW among others.

Ecological Camp for the Youth of Pangil

Twenty-four high school students from Pangil, Laguna participated in the EcoCamp conducted by CLEAR (Conservation of Laguna de Bay’s Environment and Resurces – the tripartite partnership of Laguna Lake Development Authority, Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, and Unilever Philippines) in partnership with the municipal government of Pangil.  The EcoCamp – Pangil, which aimed to develop young stewards for the environment specifically that of the Laguna de Bay region, was held at the Green House in Pangil, Laguna on 27 – 29 February 2008.

The campers came from various schools of Pangil: Balian National High School, Dambo National High School, Liceo de Pakil, Siniloan National High School, and Laguna State Polytechnic University.  Each of the eight (8) barangays of Pangil was represented by 3 participants.