|Site Managers of the Five (5) Ramsar Sites in the Country Met for the First Time|
|Friday, 07 December 2012 09:59|
A writeshop for the updating of information for all Ramsar sites in the Philippines was held last October 15-17, 2012 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. All the five (5) Philippine Ramsar sites were in attendance, represented by their site managers and staff, and the DENR Regions 4B and 7 Regional Technical Directors (RTDs) for PAWCZMS. Participants were from Naujan Lake National Park, Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP).
According to Ms. Angelique Songco, Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) of TRNP, “This is the first time that all the site managers met. It is a good opportunity for exchange of information and linkages related to the management of our wetlands.” Ms. Songco shared through a powerpoint presentation, their experiences on the management of TRNP, a site which was also recently awarded by the World Future Council with the 2012 Silver Future Policy Award.
The Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) organized the writeshop primarily to update all the Philippine Ramsar sites’ Information Sheets (RIS), which was to be regularly submitted to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The updated information will allow the Ramsar Secretariat to measure changes in the ecological character of the wetlands listed under the Ramsar Convention, as well as analyze and compare between sites around the globe. The RIS will also serve as materials for the Convention’s publications and resolutions.
The Writeshop participants were welcomed by the DENR PENRO Palawan, Mr. Juan dela Cruz. After the short opening program, a presentation which focused on the natural features and current management efforts in the PPSRNP was presented by Mr. James Albert Mendoza and complemented by Mr. Gaspar Bactol, the two PASus of the Park.
The closing activities included presentations from the representative of the Ramsar Sites which updated their RIS – Naujan Lake by APASu Leo Capon, Olango Island by APASu Reginaldo Bueno and Agusan Marsh by PASu Rufino Miranda. RTD Gwendolyn Bambalan and RTD Al Orolfo then each delivered a brief parting message. Finally, as Ms. Marlynn Mendoza of PAWB reminded of the participants,“ Being a Ramsar site, your protected area already has a label… This will just be the start of the many activities that the Ramsar site managers will share. You should take this opportunity, keep and use these contacts and networks that Ramsar is providing us, to maintain the wise use and sustainable management of your own sites.”
At the last day, the participants enjoyed an exposure trip to the Puerto Princesa Underground River and vicinities. They also visited the Palawan Rescue and Conservation Center.