Wetlands Caravan: Mobilizing Communities
for the Conservation of Agusan Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary

The Agusan Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS) is a declared Protected Area and is one of the most significant wetlands in the Philippines.  It is listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention (site no. 1009, effective 12 November 1999).  The AMWS is one of the most important biodiversity sites in the country and is considered as a Key Biodiversity Area (site no. 180).  Unfortunately, this unique ecosystem is being threatened by a wide range of issues and problems that compromise the ability of the AMWS to sustain these important ecological functions and services, to wit: pollution from mining upstream, wildlife and timber poaching and unregulated in-migration.  On top of these, there is low awareness about the importance of the AMWS among the stakeholders, thus participation in planning, management and decision-making is compromised.

The Wetlands Caravan

The Wetlands Caravan endeavored to increase the awareness of key stakeholders, particularly the youth, their schools and their communities, on the importance of AMWS and how they can help conserve this globally important significant wetland.  Employing CEPA activities to enable them to participate in planning an implementation of conservation activities, empowering them to have a stake in how this resource is being used.     more about Wetlands Caravan >>

Setting the stage for changing the attitudes and behaviors that is expected to lead to people working together for the conservation of AMWS, it is the long term goal of the Wetlands Caravan to effect behavioral change among stakeholders.  Three activities were lined up under the Wetlands Caravan for AMWS –

The Youth Ecological Camp
Venue: Provincial Training Center in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur
and  Agusan Marsh (exposure trip)
Date: 22 – 24 June 2011

Through the Youth Ecological Camp, the youth were taught about the conservation concepts , and plan and implement school- or community-based projects, and harnessing the potential of the youth to link key stakeholders (ie schools, villages, local government units) for the conservation and wise use of AMWS.

Thirty-three (33) high school students from various schools of Banawan and San Francisco participated in the 3-day eco-camp on 22-24 June 2011.  Participating schools were Bunawan National High School, Agusan del Sur National High School, Buenasuerte National High School, New Visayas National High School and Mount Carmel College.

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  Training of Trainers
Venue: Provincial Training Center in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur
and  Agusan Marsh (exposure trip)
Date: 20 – 24 June 2011

Invites for the eco-camp were extended only to high schools from the two municipalities (Banawan and San Francisco) of Agusan del Sur.  So that there will be capable individuals who can continue the initiative and complete the conduct of ecological camps in other municipalities, a Training of Trainers was conducted on 21-22 June 2011 .  Ten school teachers and three DENR personnel joined the training.  The participants were also given the opportunity to observe the conduct of 3-day eco-camp on 22-24 June 2011.

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Community Forum

Venue:    Bunawan National High School in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur; and
Agusan National High School in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur
Date:       04 October 2011

The Community Fora were held on 04 October 2011 in Bunawan and in San Francisco. The eco-campers shared what they learned in the camp and presented their respective projects. The purpose of the event was to solicit the support of the community in the implementation of the selected projects. During the event, the people who will be helping in the implementation of the project with the campers were identified.

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Implementing Partners –