The theme for this year’s World Wetlands Day celebration is Wetlands and Water Management. The key objective of World Wetlands Day 2013 is to raise people’s awareness of the interdependence between wetlands and water.
“As with the early great river civilizations, integrating the management of water, land and people remain a major challenge for the 21st century. Water is a critical natural resource upon which all socio-economic and environmental activities depend.” (Ramsar, 2012) It fundamentally connects – from source to sea, and through the never ending water cycle. International, national and local initiatives all highlight the importance of understanding the pressing need to resolve water management issues in an integrated, cooperative, and holistic manner.
Wetlands constitute a resource of great socio-economic, cultural and scientific value, and their loss would be irreparable. Wetlands deliver essential ecosystem services, or the benefits people obtain from nature, including acting as re The Ramsar Convention recognizes that wetlands occupy a key position in this interconnectivity and that the wise use of wetlands is essential for the delivery of sustainable water management. Thus, water management and the “wise use of wetlands” are inextricable linked.
To drum up the message of World Wetlands Day, the Executive Officer of SCPW was in the ANC Mornings (ABS-CBN News Channel) on 01 February 2013. She also announced the other activities the SCPW has scheduled for the month.
Launching of the Design Competition:
Symposium on Environmental Concerns and Sustainability
in Strategic Design Planning for Urban Wetland Ecosystem
To launch the Pasyal Ilog Pasig Design Competition, a Symposium on Environmental Concerns and Sustainability in Strategic Design Planning for Urban Wetland Ecosystems was held at the Theatre Lobby of the University of the Philippines – Diliman on 13 February 2013. Discussed during the event by Ms. Fatima Casimiro, the Chairperson of ASAPHIL-UP, the competition requirements, instructions and all the things the contestants should know about the competition. The symposium featured the following topics and concepts as discussed by distinguished speakers in their respective fields.
- “Strategic Design Planning in the Filipino Design Practice” (by Architect Jose Danilo Silvestre)
- “The Socio-Cultural Heritage of Rivers” (by Mr. Ivan S. Henares of Heritage Conservation Society)
- “History and Profile of Pasig River” (by Ms. Eugenia Lagmay of Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission)
- “Wetland Conservation Concepts” (by Ms. Amy Lecciones of Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands)
- “Tourism Potential of Pasig River and Environs” (by Dr. Juliet Villegas of National Parks Development Committee)
- “Planning Perspective of Riverscapes” (by Ms. Haydee Malubay of JFH Basic Need Development Corp.)
The Pasyal Ilog Pasig Design Competition intends to engage architecture, engineering, design, and planning students – future leaders and builders of the Filipino Nation – to participate in a design competition aimed at restoring Pasig River as a prime destination in the Capital. The competition was organized by SCPW and the Architectural Students Association of the Philippines – University of the Philippines Chapter (ASAPHIL – UP).
Viaje Kalikasan: Kabataan, Kalikasan, Kalinangan sa Turismo
The Civic Welfare Training Service students of the University of the Philippines – Los Baños had an educational tour exchange with the members of the CLEAR Youth Network (CYN) of San Pedro and Los Baños and the youth of Bay.
The Viaje Kalikasan aimed to increase the awareness of the youth on the importance of wetlands and promote appreciation of its functions. It was also a good opportunity for the youth to exchange ideas, practices and activities on lake conservation by actually visiting and observing tourism sites.
Activities for the Viaje Kalikasan were held in all Saturdays during the period 09 February to 09 March 2013. Tour sites were Bay, Los Baños and San Pedro, all in the province of Laguna.
CLEAR (Conservation of Laguna de Bay’s Environment and Resources) is a tripartite partnership of the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (non-government organization), Laguna Lake Development Authority (government agency) and Unilever – Philippines (business corporation).
Wetlands Caravan in Tawi-Tawi
The Sulu Archipelago Reef system is one of the most important wetlands in the Philippines. Among the significant components are the swamp lands in Sanga-Sanga Island and Lombog; Great White egret nesting forest of Bardatal Islam and the picturesque island of Panampangan in Sapa-Sapa; Mariculture park in Sibutu, Panglima Sugala and Languyan; the Marine Protected Areas in Sitangkai, Languyan, Mapun, Bongao, Panglima Sugala, South Ubian, Simunul, and Turtle Islands; the 165 hectare Community Managed Mangrove Reforestation Project in Simalac, Languyan; the Kocam habitats in Tawi-Tawi mainland, and many other attest to the high biodiversity value of the Tawi-Tawi wetlands. They provide important products and services which help sustain human life, conserve biological diversity, and combat the impacts of climate change and desertification.
This Tawi-Tawi Wetlands Caravan served as the Communication, education and public awareness (CEPA) program of the Provincial Government, the municipalities and the Mindanao State University with WWF Philippines and the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands to make people understand the importance of wetlands ecosystems and the products and services they provide for the benefit of humankind. This year’s Caravan has the following objectives:
- To increase the awareness and appreciation for wetlands and their many values and uses and many environmental concerns;
- To raise constituency in support of the conservation of the coral reefs, of Tawi-Tawi as very important components of the Tawi-Tawi Wetlands through the Coral Restoration Project
- To catalize change in the behavior of intended audiences, especially the youth, towards wetlands and coastal resources of Tawi-Tawi
- To strengthen the youth organizations like Kilusan ng Kabataan para sa Kalikasan and our Teen Organizations on Population Health and Environment.
Activities lined up every weekend of February 2013 –
Monitoring of Coral Nursery Units and Deployment of Additional Coral Nursery Units in Sand Bar Lepa Beach Resort, Dan Mar Resort, and Mt. View Resort.
- Seminar on Basic Coral Ecology and Restoration to the Alpha Sigma Phi officers and members; and planting corals into the Coral Nursery Units
- Organization of the Kilusan ng Kabataan para sa Kalikasan in Mahardika Institute of Technology; and Lectures on the “A Case Study on the Application Fatwa on Environmental Management in Coastal Resource Management in Some Municipalities of Tawi-Tawi” and “Basic Coral Ecology and Restoration”
- Training on Basic Ecology and Coral Restoration; and Deployment of Coral Nursery Units in Sibutu Proper and Tandubanak
- Meeting with the Sangguniang Bayan of Sibutu regarding the Ordinance filed declaring the Spawning Areas of Hump head Wrasse (Mameng) as Marine Protected Areas
- Management Planning Workshop for Bud Bongao Natural Forest Park
- Training on Agronomic Practices for Seaweed Farmers to Increase Resiliency of Seaweeds to Climate Variabilities
- Training on Basic Coral Ecology and Coral Restoration; and Deployment of Coral Nursery Units in Sitangkai Marine Protected Area
- Bongao – Mangrove Reforestation –in collaboration with the Philippine Marines, Philippine Air Force, DENR and DA-BFAR
- Professorial Lecture on Tawi-Tawi Wetlands and Their Tourism Value, at the Seminar Room of Sulit Hall, College of Fisheries
– Reported by Dr. Filemon G. Romero