World Wetlands Day 2003:
Reported by Amy M. Lecciones, President, Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc.
World Wetlands Day at the
Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center
In this year's celebration, as in the past years, the activities have been largely adapted to the theme appropriately chosen by the Ramsar Secretariat - "No Wetlands, No Water". It aimed to communicate the importance of wetlands as a vital component of the freshwater cycle.
The Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Ramsar’s CEPA NGO Focal Point, in cooperation with the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, celebrated World Wetlands Day at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center. Since it fell on a Sunday, the activities revolved around the family and it was aptly titled "Celebrating Water and Wetlands - A Family Day!". To attract more people to the celebration, the entrance fee was waived for that day. The park was thus filled with many people who took part in the World Wetlands Day activities. It commenced with the holding of a holy mass/prayer at the park's grotto, right beside the park's lake. It was followed by a mini-concert featuring local artists, such as Hibla, Music Harmony and First Light Chorale, who helped drum up support for wetlands conservation.
In support of the activities and to promote wetlands conservation among the park visitors, signages were put up all over the park. The messages included:
the theme of the celebration
what are wetlands?
the importance of wetlands
what one can do to help conserve wetlands
The afternoon was greatly enjoyed by those who were there. It was truly an informative family day full of fun!
At the Visitors' Center of the park, an exhibit on "Urban Wetlands: Pasig River and Laguna de Bay" was opened. A short program, which presented various wetlands conservation programs, was held the following day.
This complements the report submitted by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. This report and photos of the celebration can also be viewed at the SCPW website at http://www.psdn.org.ph/wetlands/2003wwd.htm
Amy M. Lecciones
Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc.
c/o PSDN, Unit 1006 Jollibee Centre, San Miguel Avenue
1600 Pasig City, Philippines
t/f (63)(2) 631-0977