On January 17, 2024, the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW), represented by Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, Executive Director; Macagatal Irrigators Association (MIA), represented by Mr. Raul C. Cacho, President; and the Local Government of Barangay Paligui, Candaba, Pampanga, headed by Hon. Randy A. Manio, Punong Barangay, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation of the Living Lakes Biodiversity and Climate (LLBC) Project: Philippine Component – Frontrunner Initiative 1, also known as the Establishment of Sustainable Farm Tourism in the Paligui Wetlands, which include the soon-to-rise Paligui Wetland Education Center.
The project aims to develop Sustainable Farm Tourism in the Paligui Wetlands, also known as the Macagatal Farmland. The Farm Tourism concept includes establishing the Wetland Education Center and conducting awareness-raising and capacity-building activities to equip the local community with the knowledge and skills to operate the hub and contribute to their livelihood and more importantly to protect the migratory birds in the area which is part of the East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF).
Present during the MOA signing were the Board of Directors and Officers of MIA, namely Mr. Jorge Bagtas, Mr. Gaudencio De Leon, Mr. Christopher Manansala, Ms. Angelina Dizon, and Mr. Gaudencio Puno. Additionally, other attendees included Barangay staff, and SCPW members.
The MOA signing was made possible with the support of Cong. Anna Anna York P. Bondoc, District Representative of the 4th District of Pampanga; former Punong Barangay Hon. Virgilio Manalili; and the Municipal Mayor of Candaba, Pampanga, Hon. Rene E. Maglanque, along with his department heads and staff from the Municipal Agriculture Office, Municipal Engineering Office, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, Municipal Planning and Development Office, and Municipal Tourism Office.
The LLBC Project is part of the umbrella project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection under the International Climate Initiative (IKI) with the Global Nature Fund, an NGO based in Germany as the Lead Organization. The main objective of the LLBCP is to ensure that the conservation and restoration of wetlands and the protection of related biodiversity are improved in the long term. The SCPW is one of the 12 organizations across 10 countries that implements national-level initiatives for this LLBC Project.