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Protect wetlands, Davaoeños urged

A Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) XI official urged the help of Davaoeños in protecting the wetlands to prevent a repeat of what happened in Manila Bay and Boracay.

Every Feb. 2, the DENR XI celebrates World Wetlands Day with a series of activities that focus on reducing the impact of climate change.

“It’s important to celebrate to remind everyone that we need to protect our wetland because it has a huge role to play. We shouldn’t make it a dumping ground just like what happened to Boracay and Manila Bay,” DENR XI regional director Ruth Tawantawan told TIMES on Wednesday.

According to Tawantawan, they recorded no destruction on the wetlands in Davao Region so far.

Last February, 1,550 mangroves were planted in Barangay Cambaleon in San Isidro, Davao Oriental participated by DENR employees, people’s organizations, and the 28th Infantry Battalion.

Mangroves are crucial in protecting shorelines from damaging storms and hurricane winds, waves, and floods.

The DENR XI also led the bird-watching activity at the newly identified temporary habitat for migratory birds in San Isidro, Davao Oriental last Feb. 5. A similar activity will be initiated in Carmen, Davao del Norte this Feb. 7.

Malalag Bay, Davao del Sur is also one of the three identified temporary habitats for the migratory birds in Davao Region.

The activity aims to obtain information on the population of migratory birds at wetlands in the region, as well as to monitor on an annual basis the status and condition of wetlands.  This is also in line with the Annual Asian Waterfowl Census for migratory birds.

Tawantawan also expressed her appreciation to Mayor Sara Duterte who recently ordered an intensified monitoring of sand and gravel activities.

Duterte has directed the City Environment and Natural Resources Office to monitor the trucks loaded with sand and gravel with the assistance of the police and Task Force Davao.

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