Value, Manage, Restore, Love: Wetland Action for LPPWP
The World Wetlands Day 2022 was celebrated on 22 February 2022. The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) spearheaded the celebration titled “Value, Manage, Restore, Love: Wetland Action for LPPWP” highlighting this year’s WWD theme “Wetlands Action for People and Nature”. The event was held in partnership with the Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park, Department of Environment and Natural Resources – National Capital Region (DENR-NCR), and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).
The celebration was held at the Las Piñas – Parañaque Wetland Park (LPPWP). LPPWP is a designated Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Site #2421) under the Ramsar Convention and was proclaimed as a Protected Area (PA) under Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded NIPAS Act. It has recently completed its Management Plan for 2021 – 2030 and is anticipating its acceptance as member of the Wetland Link International -Asia. These two milestones are just two of the recent accomplishments that will be celebrated to mark World Wetlands Day 2022 in the PA. It is also an opportunity to explore partnerships with donors and investors particularly in financing the implementation of the activities in the Management Plan.
The Ramsar Convention emphasizes that a call to take action for wetlands is the focus of this years’ campaign. It is an appeal to invest financial, human and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing and to restore those have been degraded.
Objectives of the event
The event aimed to 1) promote awareness on the Ramsar Convention, the importance of wetlands and what actions stakeholders can do to help in its wise use and conservation, 2) showcase the values and features of the LPPWP, and 3) solicit support in the implementation of the LPPWP Management Plan.
Because of the pandemic, the number of participants was limited to the number allowed by the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force. It was held in an open air venue at the Wetland Center Wave of the LPWP. It was attended by members of the LPPWP Protected Area Management Board, Local Government Officials of the Cities of Parañaque and La Piñas, DENR staff from Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, Biodiversity Management Bureau and National Capital Region and Trustees and members of the SCPW.
The guests and attendees were welcomed by Director Jacqueline Caancan, the Regional Executive Director of DENR-NCR and Chair of the Protected Area Management Board of LPPWP. Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, the ACB Executive Director and Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, the SCPW Vice-President and Executive Director delivered the Opening Messages.
In Ms. Lecciones’ message, she mentioned that since the Society’s inception more than 20 years ago, the SCPW has focused its work in promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands through various communication, capacity-building, education, participation and awareness (CEPA) strategies and activities. She also highlighted that one effective CEPA strategy that the SCPW has adopted is the establishment of wetland centers as point of interaction between people and wetlands. These wetland centers may just be the wetland itself and its attributes or may have supporting infrastructure designed to support the delivery of the message of wetland conservation and wise use. She then thanked Senator Cynthia A. Villar for giving the SCPW the opportunity to design the Wetland Center Complex of the LPPWP, and the DENR-NCR and the Protected Area Management Office for their work and support in its establishment.
Senator Cynthia A. Villar, who is the Chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources in the House of Senate was there to grace the event. In her Keynote Message, she enthused that although LPPWP has already been declared a Protected Area, a buffer zone has to be designated to further secure its ecological integrity.
The event was culminated with a lunch reception at the Wetland Wave and at the Wetland Center Strata of LPPWP. In spite of the heat from the early afternoon sun, there were few attendees who went for a walk at the mangrove area of LPPWP.
WWD 2022 event by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat: