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Candaba Wetlands

Wetlands Caravan:
World Wetlands Day Celebration -
      Conserving Arayat Watershed for the Protection of Candaba Wetlands

Theme: Forest for Water And Wetlands
Venue: Candaba Bird Sanctuary,
Maria Sinukuan Upland Forests Association,
Barangay San Juan Baņo, Arayat, Pampanga
Date: 03 February 2011
Partners: United Nations Development Programme
    - GEF/SGP
Maria Sinukuan Upland Farmers Association
Unilever Philippines
Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau

          The Wetlands Caravan had three components: a bird watching event, a Community Learning Forum, and a visit to the backyard nurseries at Barangay San Juan Baņo.

          This year's theme of the World Wetlands Day is Forests for Water and Wetlands.  The connection between forests, water and wetlands is clearly emphasized in the SCPW's enhancement reforestation project - the Rehabilitation of  the Arayat Watershed for the Protection of Candaba Wetlands.  This is being implemented through the "tree-preneurship" approach wherein the participating upland farmers/families are trained to be tree-prenuers.

         Joining the event were Ms. Jocelyn Esguerra, the National Coordinator of United Nations Development Programme - GEF SGP; Mr. Leovino Ignacio, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer  of Pampanga; Mr. Ruel Nucup, President of the Maria Sinukuan Upland Farmers Association; Ms. Joy Isla and Ms. Liza Vengco of the Unilever Philippines; Ms. Minerva Martinez of the Protected Wildlife Services of Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Region 3; and Mr. Rommel Santiago, the Protected Area Superintendent for the Mount Arayat National Park.

Bird Watching

         The event started with a bird watching at the Candaba Bird Santuary. The trip aimed to increase appreciation of the wetlands in Candaba.

         The Candaba Wetlands in Pampanga, being the lowest point in Central Luzon, is  home for many species of local and migratory birds passing through the town. Because of these birds, the Candaba Bird Sanctuary in particular have become a favorite destination for bird watching activities.

Community Learning Forum

         More than a hundred upland farmers in Mount Arayat gathered for the Community Learning Forum held at the assembly place of the Maria Sinukuan Upland Farmers Association.  It aimed to increase the awareness and appreciation of the local population on the importance of the Arayat forest cover in the maintenance of the ecosystem integrity of the Arayat-Candaba watershed.

          Dr. Simplicia Pasicolan of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (also a Member of the SCPW Board of Trustees), the resource speaker, discussed the topic "Forests and Wetlands: The Wetland-Forest Connection", specifically the Mount Arayat - Candaba Wetlands connection.

Backyard Nurseries Visit

          The last component of the caravan was the visit to the backyard nurseries of the tree-preneurs and was ended by an Open Forum.  The concerns and problems encountered by the tree-preneurs in backyard nursery development were raised in the open forum.  Mr. Bienvenido Martin of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Ms. Amy Lecciones of the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands facilitated the community interaction.

more pictures of bird watching

Dr. Simplicia A. Pasicolan discussing "Forests and Wetlands"

more pictures of the community forum

more pictures of the visit

more about the WETLANDS CARAVAN

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