Valencia City Joins World Wetlands Day Celebration 2016

To highlight the importance of conserving our natural and man-made areas that are permanently or seasonally saturated by water, the City Government of Valencia through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office headed by Forester Julius M. Parian, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer spearheaded the World Wetlands Day Celebration 2016 with this year’s theme, “Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods.”

The World Wetlands Day is an annual environmental event which is celebrated by several countries around the world, including the Philippines to underscore the importance of wetlands to man. The date marks the anniversary of the signing and adoption of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance or Ramsar Convention in Ramsar City, Iran, on February 2, 1971. The Philippine government adopted its local celebration in 1999 with Presidential Proclamation No. 74, “Declaring February 2 of every year as National Wetlands Day.”

In Valencia City, the celebration was held in Sagumata River in Barangay Lourdes. It was chosen as the site for it is an eco-tourism destination and the river provides water needs for agricultural, domestic and agricultural purposes.

A total of 74 participants, CENRO was joined by SUMIFRU Philippines, KARANCHO Inc., Barangay Council of Barangay Lourdes headed by Brgy, Captain Abraham N. Eslawan together with the students of Lourdes National High School.

“The activity was done in compliance with Section 3.1 of Executive Order No. 26 issued by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III on February 24, 2011 mobilizing the academe and citizenry of various affiliations as among the strategy in implementing the National Greening Program,” Forester Parian said.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) defines wetlands as natural or man-made areas that are permanently or seasonally saturated by water, enough to support vegetation that can adapt to saturated soil conditions. Wetlands function as water purification systems; regulate water flow and precipitation and act as flood control systems; provide shoreline stability; and serve as reservoirs of biodiversity.” Natural wetlands include swamps, marshes, lakes and rivers, deltas, oases, estuaries, peat lands, mangroves, and coral reefs. Fish ponds, rice paddies, dams or reservoirs, and salt pans are man-made wetlands.

Wetlands provide livelihood such as rice growing, aquaculture, agriculture, handicraft-making, ecotourism among others. Wetlands are among our main sources of food and drinking water. It also protects us against flooding, aids in water purification and functions as habitat for different species. World Wetlands Day serves as a venue for raising public awareness on wetland benefits, conservation and wise use.

A total of 400 mahogany, narra and rain tree seedlings were plated during the activity.