25 July 2018, Las Piñas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area.
“The Embassy is writing you herewith with regards to the proposed plan of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Manila to organize a mangrove tree planting activity on 20 July 2018, 07h00 at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Econotourism Area (LPPCHEA) to celebrate the Nelson Mandela International Day. In this regard, may we invite FEEDS to join us in the mangrove planting activity as well as request your assistance in providing the bamboo shovels to be used on that day.”
FEED accepted to take part, as it is not often we are on the receiving end of an organised tree planting. The Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area was a unique experience in what is coined the last coastal frontier of Manila. Several organisations, private, public and NGOs are involved in coastal restoration projects across the Philippines, the 5th largest coastline in the world.
The event was co-organised by the South African Embassy and the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) at the LPPCHEA, with talks focusing on why and how everyone can help mitigate and adapt to the Philippines’ climate change challenges, from plastic pollution prevention and control to tree-planting. H.E. Ambassador of South Africa Martin Slabber; Hon. Senator Cynthia Villar, Mr. Carlito P. Castaneda, OIC Chief, Protected Areas Management and Biodiversity Section (DENR-NCR); and Ms. Antoinette Taus, Founder, Planet CORA also planted part of the 100 trees dedicated to Mr. Mandela’s 100th anniversary.
Extracts of Sen. Cynthia Villar’s Address
“Not many know that Nelson Mandela is also an environmental advocate and like the South Africans, whom he once led as a President, they all consider their own health and the health of their natural resources (land, air and water) as interconnected or one and the same.
In fact, I read that environmental rights are enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa. It was cited there that: “Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have that environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations.”
As a legislator and the current chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, I have been pursuing legislations as well to ensure that the future generations of Filipinos will still breathe fresh air, swim in clean seas or oceans and harvest food from healthy lands.
Among which addresses the global concern about plastic wastes, particularly those of single-use plastics and plastics that reach our seas and oceans. The United Nations itself has called the damages caused by plastic wastes as a “planetary crisis”. In December last year, the UN drafted a resolution signed by 193 countries to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea.
According to the UN Environment Programme or UNEP, eight million tons of plastic wastes are dumped in the ocean every year. These, as we know, kills marine life. They also reiterated, what I often say in my speeches, that by 2050, there may be more plastic in the sea than fish. So, it is really a crisis already.
I have also addressed this concern last year, when I filed Senate Resolution 329 that directed the Senate committee on environment and natural resources to conduct an inquiry on the measures being undertaken, if any, to arrest the Philippines’ prevalent plastic wastes leakage into the seas.
We have conducted at least three Senate hearings to tackle the issue of plastic wastes leakage in Philippine seas. I have talked to multinational consumer product companies, which are big users of plastics to join the government’s efforts towards environment protection. And many of them have thankfully heeded our call. We are coordinating with various sectors and we will come up with a very good legislative measure to address plastic wastes.
Last month (on June 22), President Duterte has also signed into law the bill placing more areas under government protection, which include popular tourism destinations as well as internationally-recognized critical zones. I was the principal sponsor of Republic Act 11038 or the law expanding the National Integrated Protected Areas System (E-NIPAS).
The law which amends Republic Act 7586, increases the number of protected areas covered by legislation from 13 to 107, for a total of three million hectares. It also recognizes conservation areas and the management regimes of local government units, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders for the establishment and management of protected areas.
We are very happy to come up with this legislation ensuring protection for more areas in our megadiverse country. This legislation is timely, given the heightened public clamor to protect and rehabilitate our popular tourist spots. So we will not have a repeat of what happened in Boracay.
Among the 94 new areas placed under government’s protection are three Ramsar Sites including where we are right now (the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park, Agusan Marsh in Agusan del Sur) and Olango Island in Cebu. Also protected now as national parks are popular tourist spots in the country including Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, Chocolate Hills and Panglao Island in Bohol, Apo Island in Negros Oriental, Mt. Mason in Albay, Taal Volcano in Batangas, Hinulugang Tak-tak in Rizal, and Palaui Island in Cagayan.”
Read Sen. Villar’s full speech here: Speech_Sen Villar, LPCCHEA Mandela Day, 2018
Slide Show (Photos Courtesy UNIC)
100 Trees for Nelson Mandela’s 100th Birthday Programme
“Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA): The Last Coastal Frontier….” The Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) is a nature reserve situated south of Manila Bay. Open to the general public, the area offers visitors a welcome respite from all the buzz and fuss of urban living, all without leaving the city.Established in 2007 thru Presidential Proclamation No. 1412 as amended, LPPCHEA is the first critical habitat to be declared in the country. Covering around 175 hectares of wetland ecosystem, LPPCHEA consists of two (2) islands—Freedom Island and Long Island—with mangroves, ponds and lagoons, mudflats, salt marshes, and mixed beach forest all over.
On March 15, 2013 LPPCHEA was recognised as a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention because of the critical role it plays in the survival of threatened, restricted-range and congregatory bird species (species that gather in globally significant numbers at a particular site). It is the sixth Ramsar Site in the country to date.
An important resting and refueling stop for migratory birds using the East Asian–Australasian Migratory Flyway, LPPCHEA hosts around 41 species of migratory birds in the area, with some coming from as far as China, Japan and Siberia.
During migration season—i.e., between the months of August and April each year—the area is transformed into a feeding and resting area for migratory birds making their way to the warmer regions of the globe. During these times, the number of birds seen roosting and feeding in the area can reach as high as 5,000 heads per day according to surveys conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP).
With its verdant landscape, calm lagoons, and diverse collection of wild birds, the area gives visitors a chance to commune with nature, study, or simply marvel at life’s majestic creations. Guests are introduced to a diverse variety of ecosystems as they take a trek inside the area. With more than 36 hectares of mangrove forest, by far the most extensive in Manila Bay, LPPCHEA truly lives up to its reputation as the region’s last coastal frontier.
When Mandela said, “It is in your hands to make of the world a better place”, he was passing on the responsibility to the next generation of leading and helping change the world for the better. Thank you South African Embassy for a wonderful planting experience in Honor of Madiba!
Let’s Make Every Day Mandela Day!
FEED runs a number of Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – such as mangrove planting for coastal protection or ridge reforestation plantings; One Child, One Tree; Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG) for nutrition in public elementary schools and other spaces; Climate Change Survival 101 and other LIVING LEGACY programs – customised environmental engagement activities for individuals and organisations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.
Tree-Planting with FEED
Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us last 24th of June 2017 to get a good idea of how FEED plantings go: https://youtu.be/KROn4rjVqBg
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