DENR, Stakeholders Intensify Biodiversity Conservation Efforts for Ligwasan Marsh

Manila Bulletin, December 14, 2008 | Go to article overview

DENR, Stakeholders Intensify Biodiversity Conservation Efforts for Ligwasan Marsh


BUTUAN CITY - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Mindanao led stakeholders of the Ligwasan Marsh in the biodiversity conservation efforts of the 288,000-hectare marshland in the region.

It was gathered that new and intensified efforts were introduced by the DENR and stakeholders during the recent three-day workshop in Central Mindanao for the review of the management plan of the country's second largest freshwater wetland.

"The Ligwasan Marsh has a local and international ecological importance. It serves as the natural reservoir and filter of water coming from a wide expanse of land in Mindanao from as far as Bukidnon Province to North Cotabato and even from South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, the DENR said.

It is home to endemic and exotic species of wildlife and serves as shelter and feeding grounds of migratory birds during winter in other countries.

In January 1941, it was proclaimed as Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary under Forestry Administrative Order No. 19.

"Due to the importance of the marshland, the DENR embarked on a biodiversity effort under the leadership of Secretary Lito Atienza," said Central Mindanao DENR regional executive director Jim O. Sampulna.

He said that representatives of the 11 priority municipalities bordering the 288,000-hectare marshland attended and reviewed the Ligwasan Marsh Protected Area Management Plan.

It was learned that the said plan was completed in 2004 by Winrock International, a private consulting firm commissioned by the DENR for the purpose.

The same firm conducted the Protected Area Suitability Assessment pursuant to an earlier contract, Sampulna said. …

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