The National Conference on Wetlands, Climate Change Adaptation and Biodiversity Conservation (NCWCCBC) held on 12 to 14 January 2009 at Silliman University in Dumaguete City aimed at setting the stage for the development of a national policy on wetlands, and a national strategy and action plan for the wise use of wetlands and wetlands resources, incorporating concerns on biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation.
Field Exposure Trip/Observation and Community Interaction
The theme of the Field Exposure Trips on the second day of Conference was Community-Led Wetland Management Strategies. There were 5 field exposure sites, namely Apo Island, Bayawan Wetland, Lake Balanan, Bais Bay Mangrove Reserve and Lake Balinsasayao.
Site 1: Apo Island
This is a showcase of community-led coastal resource management where the community was empowered and is now managing its own coastal/marine resources taking over from Silliman University.
Site 2: Bayawan Wetland
This town has a constructed wetland, the only one in the Philippines at the moment that is used to treat wastewater. This is a best practice showcasing collaboration among international agencies, non-government organizations, local environmental groups and local government units. The site is about one hour from Dumaguete City.
Site 3: Lake Balanan
A lake developed during the 1925 earthquake, now promoted by the provincial government as one of the major tourism sites in Negros Oriental.
Site 4: Bais Bay Mangrove Reserve
The area boasts of an extensive mangrove area that is managed by the community. Bais Bay is one of the priority wetland identified in the National Wetlands Action Plan.
Site 5: Lake Balinsasayao
Balinsasayao features the famed “twin lakes” which serves as hydrological support to the geothermal operations in the area and is the source of surface water supply to some municipalities.
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