Wetlands and Agricultural Biodiversity: A Learning Event
In line with this year’s celebration of World Wetlands Day and consistent with the theme Wetlands and Biodiversity, the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) in partnership with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) conducted a learning event dubbed as Wetlands and Agricultural Biodiversity at Rafael Lazatin Memorial Audio Visual Center of PSAU in Magalang, Pampanga on 06 February 2020. Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources as well as the Committee on Agriculture delivered the Keynote Address at this gathering.
The event aimed to instill awareness among key stakeholders including farmers; faculties, staff and students of PSAU; and other members of the community, on the importance of the various ecosystem services provided by wetlands and its biodiversity. It also mobilized citizen science through Wetlands Bioblitz using the toolkit that the SCPW developed. The event was highlighted by the launch of a simple design of the proposed Paligui Wetland Centre and a briefing on the crowd funding activity for the construction of the said community wetland education centre.
The learning event was attended by the experts and practitioners in the field of biodiversity and wetlands. Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, Executive Director of ACB talked about the ACB’s projects and activities particularly dealing with agricultural biodiversity, while Dr. Simplicia A. Pasicolan of Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) discussed biodiversity in the Candaba Wetlands. This year’s theme “Wetlands and Biodiversity” and Ramsar Convention were explained by Ms. Amy Lecciones of SCPW. Dr. Honorio M. Soriano, Jr., President of PSAU, hosted the morning session of the learning event, while Mr. Virgilio Manalili, Barangay Chairperson of Barangay Paligui and Mr. Gaudencio de Leon, President of Macagatal Irrigators Association hosted the field exposure activity.
The Wetlands BioBlitz activity was led by Prof. Ivy Amor F. Lambio and Mr. Cristian Lucañas of the University of the Philippines – Institute of Biological Sciences, Dr. Simplicia A. Pasicolan of DENR – ERDB, and Ms. Darry Shel M. Estorba of SCPW. The site for the activity is the 132-hectare rice paddies in Barangay Paligui in the municipality of Candaba, Pampanga which is an important area for rice and fisheries production and as wintering and staging area for migratory birds. The participants composed of community leaders and other stakeholders took part in the characterization of the Paligui wetlands through Wetlands BioBlitz. Other activities during the afternoon field exposure at the Paligui Wetlands were wetland walk and birdwatching activity, where the participants experienced and learned about this particular ecosystem and appreciate nature amidst a farm setting.
– Darry Shel M. Estorba
Organizer and partners –