The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has urged the business sector and government leaders to invest in wetland conservation, citing the success of the Boracay Wetland Conservation Park rehabilitation project.
“The Boracay Wetland Conservation Park illustrates the value of multi-sectoral convergence in conservation work. The wetlands of Boracay are now under different phases of rehabilitation,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said during the celebration of World Wetlands Day 2022 on February 2.
Cimatu said that he witnessed the transformation of the Boracay Wetland Conservation Park “from a degraded wetland to what it is now – an arboretum of native trees, an ecotourism site and an educational center for conservation.
The DENR said that wetlands, dubbed as the “kidney of the Earth,” are vital in the ecosystem as they “filter water through vegetation and substrates, help mitigate the effects of climate change and provide healing through their recreational uses.”
Locally, we have the Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Area Management Alliance (NOCWAMA) that was one of the Top 10 winners of the “Galing Pook Awards” which recognizes innovative practices by local government units.
The alliance is comprised of local governments, coastal villages, people’s organizations, fisheries and aquatic management resources councils, and community-based environment law enforcement units in the cities of Bago, Himamaylan and Kabankalan as well as the municipalities of Pulupandan, Valladolid, San Enrique, Pontevedra, Hinigaran, Binalbagan and Ilog. It spans a contiguous wetlands area with a coastline of 109.52 kilometers in southern Negros.
There is great potential in our continued investments in the conservation and sustainable development of wetlands, and with the NOCWAMA being larger in area than Boracay, more benefits are sure to follow if the government and business sector can continue to conserve, rehabilitate and protect the value the wetlands that are an integral part of our environment, the communities that host it, and the local economy.*