Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Friday, February 12, 2016

World Wetlands Day observed in Masbate with student assembly, tree-planting

MASBATE CITY, Feb. 11 (PIA)—A significant wetland in Masbate took center stage last Feb. 5 as the office here of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with young volunteers, observed World Wetlands Day to demonstrate the vital role of wetlands for the future of humanity.

No less than 100 students of Mobo National High School took part in a tree-planting to restore vegetation in Bañadero, one of the protected wetlands in Masbate and just eight kilometers from this provincial capital.

Malou Espinas joined her classmates on the regreening of the banks of the wetland.

“I planted five trees so I am now a part-owner of this wetland,” she jested.

World Wetlands Day actually falls on Feb. 2 every year, marking the adoption of an intergovernmental treaty for wetlands protection in 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar.

Worldwide, the theme of this year's World Wetlands Day was "Sustainable Livelihoods" to acknowledge the 1 billion people who rely on wetlands for fishing, rice farming, travel, tourism and water.

Just before the tree-planting, a special assembly was conducted by DENR to appraise the students of the importance of wetlands.

Jamon Espares of the Rotary Club of Masbate graced the event as the chief guest.

DENR forester Aldrin Barruga discussed the value and importance of wetlands to Masbateños.

Barruga said wetlands provide ecological services such as flood control, food production and carbon storage.

In storing carbon, wetlands help regulate climate change, he added.

They are also good for people’s health because acting like kidneys for other ecosystems, wetlands remove sediments, excess nutrients and even bacteria from drinking water used by Masbateños, he said.

Barruga said not a few Masbateños make a living from wetlands because wetlands are home to a variety of wildlife and provide nursery habitat for fish.

Marjun Refamonte joined his schoolmates in the engaging discussion about wetlands.

“I like wetlands before.  I love them now,” he said.

“Everytime I use water to brush my teeth or quench my thirst, I should probably thank a wetland,” he added. (EAD/PIA5-Masbate)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/821455227004/world-wetlands-day-observed-in-masbate-with-student-assembly-tree-planting#sthash.mqYV95i9.dpuf

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