The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc (SCPW) met with Mayor Gerald A. Aritao and other local government officials and department heads of the municipality of Pangil, Laguna on January 24, 2023, to discuss the “Living Lakes Biodiversity and Climate Project” (LLBC).
The project aims to ensure that successful practices and strategies for sustainable wetland management are being implemented, managed, and mainstreamed by local communities and organizations, in ten project countries, including the Philippines, and beyond.
The SCPW Team was led by Ms. Amy Lecciones, Executive Director of SCPW, together with Dr. Ma. Catriona Devanadera (SCPW and UPLB-CHE), Ms. Ma. Cheryl Prudente (SCPW and Green STEPS), Mr. Jose Carlo H. Quintos (SCPW), and Dr. Casper Agaton (SCPW-CHE). Other local officials/department heads present at the meeting were Alfredo Pajarillo (Municipal Secretary), Mr. Richmond Samson (Pangil River Ecopark Manager), Mr. Vinson Valois (MENRO), and Arch. Denver David (MPDO).
Ms. Lecciones gave a briefing on the project particularly the establishment of a constructed wetland or “Green Filters” at the Pangil River Eco-Tourism Park. The Green Filters concept is a Nature-Based Solution strategy for solving water pollution and promoting ecosystem restoration. It is one of the two Frontrunner Initiatives under the project. Ms. Lecciones also highlighted the various capacity-building activities that will be implemented this year including training on circular economy, Introduction to Constructed Wetlands, and Biodiversity-Friendly Enterprise, among others.
Mayor Aritao committed to proceed with the project and together with SCPW agreed that a Memorandum of Agreement be forged between SCPW and the LGU to ensure the smooth implementation of the activities as well as its sustainability even after the project has been completed. Other partners that will be involved in the project include the University of the Philippines -Los Banos, Green Steps, Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau, and Pangil River Eco-Park.
After the briefing at the Pangil Municipal Hall, the project team, with the assistance of Mr. Samson (Pangil River Eco-Park Manager) and Arch. David (MPDO), proceeded to Pangil River Eco-Tourism Park to conduct a preliminary survey of the facilities in order to establish the types of waste generated in the area, gather information about its operation, ie visitor management, and discuss further other related matters including other activities and timeline of the project.
The “Living Lakes, Biodiversity and Climate Project” is an initiative across ten countries including the Philippines, and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (International Climate Initiative, IKI).