Background and Rationale
Since its inception in 1998, the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) has focused its activities in communicating the importance of wetlands and advocated for its conservation and wise use. This has been demonstrated in the numerous and intensive communication strategies and campaigns which are also in support of the efforts of the national authority that has now resulted in tangible outcomes in terms of increased public awareness and stakeholder capacity. As a testament to this, “wetlands” is now a term that is familiar to people and communities and has gained attention even with the media and policy-makers.
Over the years, the SCPW has developed CEPA (communication, education, participation and awareness) approaches, methods, tools and materials and implemented events and activities successfully within their area of operations. These CEPA gems can be more useful if these are shared among the different stakeholders that may benefit from them. Examples of these stakeholders are Ramsar Site managers who are still struggling how to prepare their very first CEPA Action Plan and those which need updating.
The Establishment of a Wetland School
To have a systematic way of disseminating information and sharing know-how, the SCPW is envisioning the establishment of a “Wetland School” that will not only make SCPW materials available but will also conduct training on how to use them.
Initially, the Wetland School will be a virtual hub that will provide methods and tools online and conduct virtual training on how to use some of them. In the future, the Wetland School will have its physical home where a more robust CEPA which includes capacity-building curriculum will be in place.
A consultation/workshop was conducted on the ideal configuration of the “Wetland School”. A core group of people from among eminent wetland workers in the country was convened to define and elaborate on the ideal configuration of the “Wetland School” that will serve as the framework for its development and implementation. The configuration shall take off from the initial concept put forward in this project. The configuration will also include a financing scheme on the operation and sustainability of the Wetland School.
The “Wetland School” was launched in Episode 2 of SCPW’s Wetland News, Wetland Views. Discussed and reported in this online talk show were the current trends and initiatives in wetlands conservation. In this episode, which was livestreamed on SCPW Facebook Page and SCPW YouTube Channel on 30 June 2021, the possible configuration and content of a wetland school was also discussed. Discussants who provided a wide range of perspectives on “How do we envision the Wetland School?” were:
OIC-Division Chief of Caves, Wetlands and other Ecosystems Division, Biodiversity Management Bureau – Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Ivy Amor Lambio
Plant Ecologist and Professor of University of the Philippines – Los Baños, also a Member of the SCPW Board of Trustees
Carmeli de Guzman
Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Officer of Siay, Zambonga Sibugay
Head of the Wetlands Link International in London, United Kingdom
The SCPW Wetland School is made possible by the generous support of the Ramsar Regional Center – East Asia, Wetland Link International – Asia, and Primera.
Contact the SCPW for any inquiries.