The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol headed by OIC, Regional Executive Director Atty. Antonio A. Abawag spearheaded a region-wide cleanup in celebration of the 2021 World Wetlands Day on February 2 and 3, 2021.

The World Wetlands Day was celebrated through cleanup drives and beach forest planting led by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) in coordination with the Provincial, Municipal and Barangay Local Government Units in the region.

PENRO Albay led by OIC, PENR Officer Jerry R. Arena conducted the cleanup along the estuary of Kamanituhan River at Manito, Albay. A Focus Group Discussion (FGD) along with the distribution of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials were also conducted after the cleanup. The same activity and a Mangrove tree planting were also conducted by the PENRO Sorsogon led by OIC, PENR Officer Tito R. Migo in partnership with the Seamancor Ecodevelopers Incorporated, Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bantay Dagat at Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon.

A total of five (5) sacks of trash with an estimated weight of thirty (30) kilograms were collected during the cleanup drive of PENRO Catanduanes under the leadership of OIC, PENR Officer Imelda D. Baltazar. Also, two hundred (200) Talisay seedlings were planted along the coastline of Barangay Bon-ot, San Andres, Catanduanes in coordination with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and Isla Amateur Communication (ISLACOM) who also committed to monitor the seedlings they have planted and conduct a monthly cleanup drive together with the community.

Meanwhile, PENRO Camarines Sur led by PENR Officer Grace L. Cariño through the CENROs of Iriga, Goa and Sipocot, in coordination with the Provincial Environmental Management Unit (PEMU) spearheaded a Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Campaign and cleanup activities at Tinambac, Buhi, Libmanan and Cabusao, Camarines Sur, respectively, which were participated in by the LGUs, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) Sipocot and Pili Campus, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries, and the Kabalikat Civicom. Sixty one (61) sacks of non-biodegradable wastes were collected from the said cleanup.

Moreover, PENRO Camarines Norte headed by OIC, PENR Officer Marlon C. Francia through its Protected Area Management Biodiversity Conservation Unit (PAMBCU) together with Camarines Norte Water District and LGU Talisay conducted a Mangrove tree planting at San Nicolas, Talisay, Camarines Norte.

Further, the PENRO Masbate led by OIC, PENR Officer Herleo O. Pavericio with the participation of CENROs Mobo and San Jacinto also celebrated the WWD through a cleanup drive and Mangrove planting at Bongsanglay Natural Park, Batuan, Masbate. A CEPA was also conducted to the members of the Royroy United Fisherfolks Association (RUFA) and Gibraltar Fisherfolks Association (GFA).

World Wetlands Day is internationally and annually celebrated every 2nd day of February. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on February 2, 1971. This year’s theme for the World Wetlands Day, “Wetlands and Water” highlights the connection and significance between water and life. (With report from PENROs and CENROs)