SCPW Wetland Link International (WLI) Study Visit Grant Project to Sungei Buloh (Singapore)
The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands (SCPW), together with the representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – National Capital Region (DENR-NCR)/ Las Piñas Parañaque Wetland Park (LPPWP), and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP), was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) in Singapore on November 27-28, 2022 for a learning visit.
The activity was funded by the Wetland Link International (WLI) Study Visit Grant Project launched by Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia (RRC-EA). The learning visit was aimed at understanding the management and operation of SBWR and gaining knowledge that can be applied to or modified for LPPWP.
The Philippine team was composed of Ms. Amy Lecciones, Executive Director of the SCPW, Ms. Renz Marion Gamido, Assistant Protected Area Superintendent of the LPPPWP, Mr. Mike Lu, President of WBCP, Mr. Jose Carlo Quintos, and Ms. Darry Shel Estorba of SCPW.
The two-day activity kicked off with Ms. Lecciones explaining the purpose of the learning visit followed by presentations about Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park by Ms. Renz Marion Gamido (DENR-NCR) and Mr. Mike Lu (WBCP), and on City in Nature and SBWR by Mr. David Li, Senior Conservation Officer at SBWR. This was followed by a walking tour of the Reserve along Route 1 with Ms. Shufen Yang, Director of the SBWP showing the features of the wetland. The Philippine team learned from the experience of bird watching which is one of the popular activities in the reserve.The next day, the team visited the Kranji Marshes, guided by conservation managers Ms. Lim Hui Xuan and Mr. Jonathan Tan.
After the outdoor tour, the team went back to the center and viewed the Mangrove Gallery and other facilities at the center. Ms. Florence Sim, Manager for Outreach at SBWR, presented the CEPA Program of SBWR. Ms. Lecciones also highlighted CEPA activities of the SCPW particularly those involving children and the youth, such as storytelling sessions, Youth Ecological Camp and Wetlands BioBlitz, and the SCPW Wetland School. Further discussions took place during the debriefing that created open space for the Philippine team to ask specific questions on park operations and wetland conservation activities in the reserve.
The learning visit enabled the Philippine team to gain knowledge on the sustainability and wetland conservation strategies of SBWR, gather ideas on setting up and sustaining a volunteer program, and understand visitor management through first-hand experience of some activities in the SBWR. They also shared with their counterparts in SBWP the challenges confronting the operation of LPPWP albeit still not fully open to the public. Additionally, Director Shufen Yang shared a model for a volunteer capacity-building program and suggested that both the Philippines and Singapore teams can collaborate on developing and testing it as part of the Wetland School.
The Philippine team warmly accepted the suggestion, and both agreed to collaborate on future activities such as capacity building and knowledge exchange. Director Shufen Yang also offered to help the LPPWP in applying as a flyway site in the East Asian-Australian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP). The study visit was concluded by giving tokens of appreciation and some CEPA materials with both teams looking forward to future collaboration.