World Wetlands Day in Philippines

22/02/2007

Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands

The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands (SCPW) had an early celebration of World Wetlands Day. The theme this year, Fish for Tomorrow, touches everyone.. it is making sure that there will be fish for the future. That is the message that the Wetlands Caravan of SCPW is promoting in Taal Lake.

A Public Consultation on Unified Rules and Regulations (URR) for Fisheries of Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) was held on 25 & 26 January 2007. Various stakeholders from the 13 lakeshore municipalities and cities of Taal Lake met to discuss the Unified Rules and Regulations for Fisheries of Taal Volcano Protected Landscape. It aimed to harmonize the interests and priorities of the local people in the management of fisheries of the lake to ensure the conservation of the Taal Lake resources. The draft URR, which had already been subjected to four consecutive consultations, was presented to the stakeholders for further discussion before its endorsement to the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) for approval. The adoption of the URRF by the PAMB will make it a landmark policy that can be considered as best practice worthy of replication in other similar lake settings. < for more details - www.psdn.org.ph/wetlands/2007wwd.htm >

The SCPW Wetlands Caravan is the evolving CEPA Programme of the Philippines for wetlands conservation. The Programme aims to work with the communities in achieving the Ramsar Convention’s goal of “wise use of wetlands” through localized action plans the will help catalyze change in the people’s behavior towards wetlands. The approach of this program is to steer away from the traditional, informational approach wherein the main concern is to transfer knowledge to the local stakeholders. Instead, it will employ a more participative and community-driven approach, owing to the fact that different communities and stakeholders have their own sets of needs and uses for their wetlands. <for more information - www.psdn.org.ph/wetlands/wetlands_caravan.htm >

Taal Lake is part of the TVPL proclaimed by the government as protected area. As of late, it has been experiencing various environmental pressures, notably from fisheries, among others. The need for a unified rules and regulations in its management was seen to address these concerns. Being a protected area, Taal Lake has no municipal waters. A Technical Working Group, composed of sectoral representatives from aquaculture, capture fisheries, provincial environment and provincial planning representatives and all municipal agriculturists, was formed to help formulate the draft URR.


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