The Agusan Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWS) is a declared
Protected Area and is one of the most significant
wetlands in the Philippines. It is listed as a wetland of
international importance under the Ramsar
Convention (site no. 1009, effective 12 November 1999).
The AMWS is one of the most important biodiversity sites in
the country and is considered as a Key Biodiversity Area
(site no. 180). It is comprised of a vast complex of
freshwater marshes and water courses including 59 lakes that
collectively act as holding water basin for floodwaters that
regularly inundate the Agusan Valley during the northeast monsoon.
Unfortunately, this unique ecosystem
is being threatened by a wide range of issues and problems
that compromise the ability of the AMWS to sustain these
important ecological functions and services, to wit:
pollution from mining upstream, wildlife and timber poaching
and unregulated in-migration. On top of these, there
is low awareness about the importance of the AMWS among the
stakeholders, thus participation in planning, management and
decision-making is compromised.
Youth for Conservation:
The Youth Ecological Camp
A strategy for promoting stewardship for Agusan Marsh is through the
informed participation of its young generation. The continued
awareness campaign and participation of the youth can offer a sustainable approach in the conservation of
the lakes biodiversity and culture in the years to come. This could
create wider partnerships that will complement the management
efforts of the communities with the local government units in the
Through the Ecological Camp, the youth were taught about
conservation concepts and plan and implement school- or
community-based projects. These plans are then presented to their
respective schools or communities in a Community Forum to solicit
On 22-24 June 2011, the Youth Ecological Camp for Agusan Marsh was
conducted at the Provincial Training Center of Agusan del Sure.
Thirty-three (33) high school students from various
schools of Banawan and San Francisco participated in the 3-day
eco-camp on 22-24 June 2011. Participating schools
were Bunawan National High School, Agusan del Sur
National High School, Buenasuerte National High School, New
Visayas National High School and Mount Carmel College.