Press Release
April 22, 2015

Villar leads Earth Day 2015 celebration at LPPCHEA

In observance of Earth Day 2015, Senator Cynthia A. Villar led series of activities at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA), one of the world's most important wetlands included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Earth Day is held every April 22 annually. On this day, events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Aside from the regular clean-up along the shoreline of Manila Bay, Villar said the "Commitment Wall for LPPCHEA" was signed to boost protection and preservation of LPPCHEA from all dangers, including threats of reclamation.

Villar, a known environmental advocate, has been strongly fighting the planned reclamation project on the 175-hectare LPPCHEA, a protected mangrove forest and marine habitat in the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque.

The senator said participants, who included contestants of Ms. Earth Philippines 2015, in the LPPCHEA Earth Day celebration with the theme, "Earth Day Everyday, Everywhere for Everyone," will also be treated to boating and kayaking, Eco-tour and Bird Watching.

She assured they were surely be delighted with the many species of rare flora and fauna during the "walking tour" around the Freedom Island and Long Island.

Secluded ponds and sunny lagoon which serves as spawning ground and sanctuary for fishes are also found in this "last piece of wilderness" in Metro Manila.

"They lay their eggs here. There are also shellfish/crustaceans in these bodies of water that provide livelihood to fishermen," said Villar.

She noted LPPCHEA is a favourite destination of bird watchers due to the amazing rare species of birds found here like the Black-winged Stilt, the endangered Chinese Egret and the endemic Philippine Duck.

"It serves as haven for 84 bird species, including indigenous and migratory birds from as far as Siberia, that nestle on the mangrove trees. The beach area serves as their feeding ground," she added.

Prior to these activities, there was ribbon-cutting ceremony for the photo exhibit, showcasing the "scenic beauty, the pristine nature and wonders of this haven for endangered wildlife."

"We are holding these activities to instill awareness among our people on the importance of LPPCHEA to our environment and Mother Earth," said Villar.

She stressed Ramsar's recognition on the global importance of LPPCHEA should be coupled with responsibilities to protect it from anything that threatens to destroy it.

"That is our commitment not only to ourselves, but also to the various species that thrive here like the birds, trees, mangroves and plants as well as the people who rely on it for their livelihood," said the senator.

She further stated that this "wildlife sanctuary" is also a natural barrier against storm surges and high tides that can cause massive flooding in Las Piñas, Parañaque and Bacoor City in Cavite. On April 2007, Presidential Proclamation No. 1412 declared LPPCHEA a protected area because of its significant role in preserving and promoting biodiversity and sustainable ecological balance in Metro Manila.

Joining the LPPCHEA Earth Day celebration are those from Villar SIPAG, LPPCHEA Management, DENR NCR , Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress, Save Freedom Island Movement,Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Philippine Red Cross - Las Piñas, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Sagip Kalikasan Volunteers - Las Piñas, Bureau of Fire Protection - Las Piñas, Philippine Coast Guard, Sonshine Radio Volunteers, Archdiocese of Manila Ministry on Ecology, Save Palanyag Movement and volunteers from Las Piñas Manpower Training, DFCAITI, Prime Venture Coop Youth Manila , Youth for Christ, El Shaddai, Legions of Mary - Las Piñas and residents and students from Las Piñas and Parañaque.

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