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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Wetland Olango Island Lapu-Lapu City - Photo by Fritz John Menguito

The Biodiversity Management   Bureau  of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is  inviting young photography  enthusiasts  
to  take part  in the World  Wetlands  Day  Photo Contest.

Biodiversity  Management  Bureau Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim  said   in a memorandum sent
to  DENR  offices, the photo  contest  is open  to   anyone  within  ages   15  to 24   who
can snap  a  picture of a wetland location   in the  country  between  February  2 and  March   2 2015.

Entries  should  be  uploaded to the  World  Wetland  Day  website, World Wet Lands Day
starting  February 2.

Winners  will  have a chance to  visit a wetland  location anywhere in the world, Lim  said.

Anchored  on the   World Wetland Day celebration theme  “Wetlands  for  Our Future,” the  photo contest
highlights many ways  that  wetlands ensure our   future, she added.

Handouts  from the  World  Wetlands Day  website  defines   wetlands  as  land areas that are
saturated  or flooded  with  water  either  permanently or seasonally.

Marshes, ponds, lakes, fens, rivers, floodplains and  swamps  are  examples of  inland  wetlands
while  saltwater  marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons and even  coral reefs  are among some
kinds of coastal  wetlands.

The  same  handout emphasized  that  wetlands ensure fresh water, purify and filter  harmful
waste  from water,  and feed  humanity.  They also help fight   climate change, provide
livelihood and products, serve  as habitat to more than 100,000  freshwater species,  and
act  as  nature’s  shock absorber.

The same  handout, however, noted that  “64% of the world’s wetlands  have disappeared  since 1990.”

The  Convention on Wetlands, also  called Ramsar  Convention,   an international  governmental
treaty  that provides  the framework   for national  and international cooperation for the
 conservation and  wise use of wetlands and their  resources, has  named   six  locations
in the Philippines as   wetlands of international importance.

These are Olango Island in  Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu; Naujan Lake  National Park in Oriental
Mindoro; the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in CARAGA Region; Tubbataha Reefs  National Marine Park  located in the middle of the Central Sulu Sea, about  150 kilometer southeast of  Puerto
Princesa; the Puerto  Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan; and the Las
Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and  Ecotourism Area.

Lake Sebu in South Cotabato  and  the Liguasan  Marsh   straddling    Region  12 and the
Autonomous  Region and  Muslim  Mindanao  are  the most popular  wetlands  in  SOCCSKSARGEN Region.

The  World  Wetlands  Day   is  an annual  event  observed  every  February  2  to raise
public awareness of  wetland values and benefits and to  promote the  conservation and
wise use of  wetlands.

February  2 also  marks  the  signing of  the  Convention on Wetlands  in the Iranian city
of Ramsar,. DENR


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