The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW), co-organized the 2nd Tayabas River Summit, with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tayabas City, and the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The event, with this year’s theme, “Ilog Tayabas, Pangalagaan, Bahagi Ito ng Ating Likas-yaman Kultura at Kasaysayan”, was held on August 8-9, 2019 at the Nawawalang Paraiso Resort and Restaurant, Tayabas City, Quezon Province.
The Tayabas River Summit aimed at highlighting the importance of the numerous river systems and other wetlands to the local communities as well as to ensure its ecological integrity. Of note are Iyam and Dumacaa Rivers which are two of the major rivers in Quezon Province. These water bodies are being used mainly for agriculture, fisheries, and recreation and are also sources of irrigation water for rice and corn production, which are the major crops produced in Tayabas. Aquaculture and fishery are likewise considered as major activities for food sustenance and livelihood of the local communities. The city is also known for its recreation destinations, resorts and historical Spanish stone bridges which traverse the said rivers.
This event is a major initiative of the Local Government to highlight the importance of this and other wetlands in the area to the local communities as well as to ensure its ecological integrity. This is also in line with SCPW’s flagship program “Active, Clean and Bountiful Rivers” which employs citizen-science in characterizing and assessing wetlands.
The programme began with opening and welcoming message from Ms. Lourdes Reynoso, Executive Assistant, in behalf of Municipal Mayor, Hon. Ernida Reynoso. Other partners also gave messages for the event including Dr. Catriona Devanadera representing the SCPW, Ms. Zosaine Lumbres from Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the DENR , and Mr. Gene Veloso from the Provincial Government Environmental and Natural Resources Office.
The first day of the summit include learning sessions on the following topics:
- Environmental Profile of Tayabas (by Mr. Melvin Rada, CENRO, Tayabas)
- Wetlands – Keeping the Planet Alive and Well (Audio-visual Presentation)
- Wetlands and National Government Initiatives in Wetlands Conservation (by Ms. Zoisane Lumbres, BMB)
- The Seven Environmental Principles (by Mr. Jose Carlos Quintos, SCPW)
- Historical and Cultural Aspects of Rivers in Tayabas (by Mr. Necias Chavez Pataunia, City Planning and Development Coordinator, Tayabas)
- Rapid Assessment of Wetland Ecosystem Services (by Ms. Zoisane Lumbres, BMB & Ms. Darry Shel Estorba, SCPW)
On the second day, the fieldwork was guided by SCPW, BMB, and the Tayabas CENRO . The participants were tasked to do the Rapid Assessment on Wetland Ecosystem Services (RAWES) on the assigned sections (upstream, midstream, and downstream) of the Dumacaa River. Each group reported the RAWES results.
Based on the observations and results of the fieldwork, the participants crafted their action plans. They were able to craft projects and activities to address the issues affecting the rivers and other wetlands in Tayabas.
The event was concluded by awarding of certificates and a closing message by Mr. Melvin Rada from the CENRO of Tayabas City.