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NegOcc advocates for the creation of local conservation areas.

On the occasion of World Wetlands Day on Wednesday, the provincial government of Negros Occidental is advocating for the creation of local conservation areas (LCAs) in several cities and municipalities around the province.

Local environment and natural resources officers must intensify the campaign for wetlands conservation and protection by conducting various activities that will lead to the establishment of LCAs, according to the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO), which is led by lawyer Julie Ann Bedrio.

“(The commemoration) serves as a reminder that we also have the Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Conservation Area (NOCWCA), a network of coastal wetlands LCAs that spans ten local government units.” Let us continue to value, maintain, restore, and cherish our wetlands,” said the PEMO.

The NOCWCA, which is located in southern Negros, spans 109.52 kilometers of coastline, spanning 52 coastal barangays from Bago City to Ilog, and includes Bago City, Pulupandan, San Enrique, Pontevedra, Hinigaran, Binalbagan, Himamaylan City, and Kabankalan City.

The NOCWCA was designated as the Philippines’ eighth Ramsar site (wetland of international significance) on October 20, 2016.

The Negros Occidental Coastal Wetlands Area Management Alliance (NOCWAMA), with its entry titled “Network of Alliances for Coastal Wetlands Conservation,” was named one of the Top 10 winners of the Galing Pook Awards, which honors innovative practices by local government units, in October of last year.

Thousands of migratory birds feed on the NOCWCA’s huge mangroves and mudflats, which serve as habitat for internationally vulnerable species.

Its rich biodiversity also helps coastal populations’ livelihoods and provides as a primary food supply for Negros Occidentales.

Every February 2, World Wetlands Day is commemorated to raise global awareness of the importance of wetlands to people and the environment.

The day also commemorates the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on February 2, 1971.

This year, Negros Occidental adopts the UN Environment Programme’s logo and theme, with “a call to take action for wetlands” as the campaign’s focus, which aims to invest in financial, human, and political capital to save the world’s wetlands from extinction and restore those that have been degraded.

Following the passage of a resolution co-sponsored by 75 member states by the United Nations General Assembly on August 30, 2021, World Wetlands Day will be marked as a United Nations International Day on February 2, 2022.

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