The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 8 joins the global community in observing World Wetlands Day on February 2.
This year’s theme “It’s time for wetland restoration” highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration, and calls on the entire populace to take steps to revive and restore degraded wetlands.
By definition, a wetland is a land area that is saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, peatlands, lakes, rivers, floodplains, and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and even coral reefs. Fish ponds, rice paddies and salt pans are human-made wetlands.
Wetlands deliver essential services for humans, from filtering our water supply and providing water, to protecting us from storms and floods, sustaining biodiversity and storing carbon.
However, these wetlands are disappearing three times faster than the forests. More than thirty-five (35%) percent of the wetlands have been degraded or lost since 1970 (worldwetlandsday.org).
“Wetland restoration is a fitting theme as Eastern Visayas is frequently experiencing inclement weather that causes massive flooding and landslides,” says Arturo E. Fadriquela, OIC, Regional Executive Director of DENR Region 8. “Also, with the disastrous effects of climate change to lives and properties, the need for people to change their outlook and attitude towards the unbridled exploitation of our environment and natural resources should be at the apex of what needs to be done by all, either individually or collectively,” Director Fadriquela added.
To drumbeat the campaign for wetland restoration, the DENR is partnering with local government units and civil society organizations for the conduct of activities such as tree planting and information, education, and communication (IEC) activities that will lead to the conservation, wise use and restoration of wetlands.
World Wetlands Day, celebrated annually on February 2, aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and the planet. This day also marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.