With the theme “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction”, the annual event was led by Naujan Lake National Park – Protected Area Office (NLNP – PAO) together with MBCFI, Haribon Foundation, Divine Word College of Calapan (DWCC) and DENR regional office. Students from Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MINSCAT), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)– Bansud Campus and, officials and volunteers from lakeside communities experienced a different twist in celebrating the World Wetlands Day (WWD) on February 2, 2017 at Naujan Lake National Park, a wetlands of international importance to the Ramsar List since November 12, 1999.

Instead of the usual lecture and birding session on site, a total of sixty (60) participants enjoyed the iBangklase, an innovative, nature-based educational project of DENR and DWCC. Participants experienced the four (4) hour ride around the lake traversing the municipality of Victoria, Naujan, Socorro and Pola in Oriental Mindoro.

Speakers from NLNP-PAO, MBCFI and Haribon Foundation emphasized in their presentations the vital roles of wetlands in reducing the impacts of extreme weather events such as typhoons, floods and droughts in communities, and in helping  build resilience.

World Wetlands Day is an annual event established to raise awareness about the importance and value of wetlands for humanity and the planet. It is held every 2nd of February, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention of Wetlands on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar.