The Department of Environment and Natural Resources—through the Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB)—will celebrate the gains made in the rehabilitation of Boracay wetlands during the local observance of the World Wetlands Day 2022.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that this year’s celebration focuses on our concrete actions for wetlands to save them from further degradation.
“Wetlands are among our country’s natural assets and thus we have made them part of our ongoing rehabilitation of Boracay Island. We believe that showcasing their importance through wetlands recovery and restoration in the island is an effective means of spreading awareness to the public,” Cimatu said.
“By restoring the ‘Wetlands of Boracay,’ we do not only conserve their ecological functions in the island but also add up to the diversification of Boracay’s tourism attraction sites,” he added.
The DENR will lead the Philippines’ World Wetlands Day celebration at the Boracay Wetland Conservation Park, formerly Wetland No. 2, in Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island on February 2.
The event will showcase the partnership in wetland conservation with private companies such as Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Boracay Tubi System Inc., Energy Development Corp. (EDC), and J.G. Summit Olefins Corp.
During the main event, the EDC, an adopter of the DENR’s “Adopt-a-Wetland Program,” will be turning over the completed project for Wetland No. 2 to the DENR after more than three years of rehabilitation.
With the theme “Wetlands Action for People and Nature,” this year’s World Wetlands Day highlights the importance of concerted actions in conserving and ensuring the sustainable use of wetlands for human beings, the environment, and all living creatures that depend on it.
DENR-BMB OIC Director Natividad Bernardino said this year’s theme also serves as a “clarion call for Filipinos to act for the welfare of the country’s wetlands.”
“We need to invest financial, human, and political capital to save our wetlands from disappearing and restore those we have degraded. It is also an appeal to re-strategize and capitalize on nature-based solutions such as wetland conservation, which provides sound and sustainable benefits for human beings, the environment, and all creatures on the planet,” Bernardino said.
World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on February 2 to raise global awareness on the vital role of wetlands for people and our planet.
The date also marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands, which was adopted as an international treaty in 1971.
Presidential Proclamation No. 74, Series of 1999, also declares February 2 of every year as National Wetlands Day in recognition of the immense importance of wetlands to the welfare of the Filipino people and the protection of global biodiversity.
This year’s celebration is particularly significant because it will be the first time that it will be celebrated as a United Nations International Day through a resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on August 30, 2021.