The Philippines: Metro Manila’s Wetland Faces Threat
The Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) is facing a threat from the planned P14-billion Manila Bay reclamation project.
The only wetland in an urban setting, LPPCHEA was included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance as stated in the briefing notes of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
LPPCHEA located in Metro Manila is one of the six areas in the Philippines considered as critical habitats which require careful and sustainable land-use planning.
It is found on the western side of the Aguinaldo Highway (Coastal Road) and is bounded by the Parañaque River on the north and Las Piñas River on the South which covers an area of 175 heactares consisting of mangroves, mudflats and diverse avifauna. Because of its biodiversity, LPPCHEA was declared as a critical habitat in 2007 by Proclamation Nos. 1412 and 1412-A.
“At least 5,000 individuals of migratory and resident birds have been recorded at the site, including about 47 migratory species such as the vulnerable Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes). The most important of the resident bird species is the vulnerable Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica) which breeds at the site. Records from 2007-2011 show that the site supports at least 1% of the estimated population of Black-Winged Stilts (Himantopus himantopus) using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway,” Ramsar stated.
Ramsar also noted that ‘the site faces threats associated with being located near densely populated areas as waste from nearby cities accumulates along the coast and heavy metals and other organic contents coming from residential and industrial effluents affect surrounding areas.’
Meanwhile, the LPPCHEA is also one of the concerns included in the petition to the Supreme Court against the August 2013.
In 1994, the Philippines joined the Ramsar Convention where signatories to the Convention are bound to “include wetland conservation considerations in their national land-use planning,” and commit to implement and promote “the wise use of wetlands in their territory.”
Other areas included in the list are the Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park in Sulu (listed on December 11, 1999); the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary (listed on December 11, 1999); the Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro (listed on December 11, 1999); the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu (listed on January 7, 1994); and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan.
Press Release, September 10, 2013