Feb 2 is World Wetlands Day

This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day celebration is “Wetlands and Climate Change”. This theme highlights the importance of healthy and intact wetlands as a natural solution to reduce the impact of climate change such as sea-level rise, coral bleaching and changes in water temperature to name a few.

Wetlands are water ecosystem either permanent or seasonal. Its main function is to provide water storage, storm protection, flood mitigation, shoreline stabilization, and erosion control. Also, wetlands provide nurseries for coastal fisheries and provide sources of fish and food for humans as well as keep floodplain farmlands fertile.

World Wetlands Day (WWD) is observed on February 2 every year to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands on the planet. It also marks the date when Ramsar Convention was signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971, adopting the Convention on Wetlands. This Convention is an international treaty that calls for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

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Hands-On-ARMS outreach activity held

To raise awareness and highlight the importance of coastal and marine resources to the local communities, especially to the youth, Department of Environment and Natural Resources -XI through its Coastal Resources and Foreshore Management Section (CRFMS) and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Compostela Valley recently conducted the Hands-On-ARMS outreach activity at Mabini Protected Landscape and Seascape (MPLS), Compostela Valley.

This interactive activity was participated by selected Grade 6 students from Don William Gemperle Elementary School in Mabini. The participants were given an opportunity to learn and observe the marine cryptobiota using a simple hand lens or magnifying glass and forceps. They also sorted and classified these small animals into their respective groups.

Despite their small size, marine cryptobiota provides various ecological good and services and serves as primary building blocks of the coral reef. Marine cryptobiota includes shrimps, crabs, hermit crabs, brittle stars, sponges, and tunicates, among others.

As part of DENR's Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP), the Department monitors cryptobiota with the use of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS), a long-term collecting device that mimics the coral reef and attract these animals. The data will be collected to study on their biodiversity and the effects of climate change on reefs.

 

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