Press Release
May 30, 2015

Villar leads nature exposure program at LPPCHEA

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar today led the holding of a nature exposure program at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA), the only wetland in Metro Manila recognized for its international importance.

"By providing this opportunity to spend time with nature, we want the public to have a deeper understanding of the importance of areas like LPPCHEA, as home of numerous species of flora and fauna, as a bird sanctuary, and as a defense against flooding and storm surges," Villar said.

The nature exposure program was held to mark May as the Month of the Ocean, World Biodiversity Day (May 22), and World Environment Day (June 5).

Villar, managing director of Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), said it is only fitting to celebrate at LPPCHEA to boost awareness on the threats to its existence such as reclamation projects in Manila Bay and poor solid waste management.

About 100 high school student leaders from Las Piñas and Parañaque participated in the program, which opened with a message from Villar and highlighted by a community singing of the song "If We Hold on Together."

Among the scheduled activities are lectures on environment awareness by representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, and the Philippine Red Cross.

Coastal clean-up, birdwatching, nature walk, and reflection and reaction- sharing on the activity were also held.

Participating organizations also included LPPCHEA Management and DENR-NCR, Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress, and Save Freedom Island Movement.

LPPCHEA is a 175-hectare critical habitat as declared by Presidential Proclamation Nos. 1412 and 1412-A. It is also one of the Wetlands of International Importance listed by the Ramsar Convention.

Five other areas are included in the Ramsar List, namely, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan; the Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park in Sulu; the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary; the Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro; and the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu.

"We should thank the people who have been working tirelessly to preserve LPPCHEA. Volunteers, residents and students, who regularly come here to clean the shores and the leaders who continue to resist development projects that threaten the existence of the habitat, should be commended and emulated," Villar said.

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