World Wetlands Day is being celebrated annually every 2nd day of February. This day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Ramsar, Iran in 1971 “The Ramsar Convention”. In support of this environmental celebration, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada signed Presidential Proclamation No. 74 series of 1999 declaring February 2 of every year as National Wetlands Day. The celebration is an avenue to raise public awareness on the importance of wetlands and its vital role in preserving biodiversity as well as to promote the conservation and wise use of these ecosystems.
With this year's theme “Wetlands Restoration”, the DENR PENRO Cavite facilitated a seminar/lecture which was actively participated by twenty (20) selected Senior High School (SHS) students from Trece Martires City- SHS comprised of seven (7) males and thirteen (13) females particularly the officials and representatives of Youth for Environment in School - Organizations (YES-O). The lecture aims to raise awareness and disseminate relevant information on wetlands as well as its significance in preserving biodiversity. The activity was held on 03 February 2023 at the DENR PENRO Cavite Building Brgy. Gregorio, Trece Martires City, Cavite.
OIC, PENR Officer Januel R. Peras emphasized that the celebration of World Wetlands Day is intended to promote and create awareness in preserving, conserving, and restoring our wetlands. He also stressed the importance of wetlands namely: source of food for human, breeding and feeding ground for marine species, and habitat and wintering ground to migratory birds. He is hoping that through this event, the YES-O officials and representatives will gain relevant knowledge and additional information on how to protect and conserve these valuable ecosystems.
Forester Ariane Joyce L. Mugol delivered a lecture highlighting the different types of wetlands as well as its importance to humanity and the environment. Included in her topic are the seven (7) best practices in wetland restoration and the seven (7) benefits of restoring wetlands. Moreover, she also presented the eight (8) Wetland Sites in the Philippines that are included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance as Ramsar sites. She also presented the existing coastal wetlands in Cavite along with different activities being conducted by PENRO Cavite such as Asian Waterbird Census (AWC); CEPA; LAWIN Patrolling and Clean-up activities contributory to wetlands protection and conservation.
After the fruitful seminar/lecture, participants were asked about their pledges to help in conserving and restoring wetlands. Most of them pledged that they will harness the power of social media platforms to effectively disseminate awareness about the importance of wetlands. They also pledged to do several environmental actions such as proper waste disposal and avoidance in using single use plastics. These are some of the practices that we must do as an ordinary citizen to help restore the tainted situation of wetlands leading to environmental conservation and protection.