Palawan Celebrates World Wetlands Day

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY – 2 FEBRUARY – Today Palawan joins the international community in the celebration of the World Wetlands Day through A Photo Exhibit on Palawan’s Wetlands .  The exhibit highlights the Tubbataha Reefs in Cagayancillo and the Underground River in Puerto Princesa City, two of only five sites in the Philippines inscribed in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.  Other important sites in the city and in the province are also featured in the exhibit that will run from February 2 to 8 at the Robinsons Place Palawan.

The Tubbataha Reefs was one of the three Philippine wetlands that made it to the Ramsar List in November 11, 1999 with the Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro and Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Agusan del Sur.  While Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu is the first inscribed Ramsar Site (1994), the Underground River is the latest site to make it to the List on June 30, 2012.  The Tubbataha Reefs and Underground River are also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The annual celebration of World Wetlands Day commemorates the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, also known as the Ramsar Convention, on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran.  In the Philippines, Presidential Proclamation No. 74 affirmed February 2 of every year as National Wetlands Day.

With the theme:  Wetlands take care of water, the celebration aims to raise awareness on the interdependence of water and wetlands, to highlight ways to ensure the equitable sharing of water between different stakeholders group and to drive home the message that without wetlands we imperil our water supply – and therefore our very lives.

The photo exhibit is one of the ways we collectively celebrate the 25th year of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park as marine protected area.  It is made possible through the support from the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., Conservation International – Philippines, City Government of Puerto Princesa, Provincial Government of Palawan, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff, Puerto Princesa City Water District, Robinsons Place Palawan and ALC Printing House.  The exhibit is organized by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office with the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.