ADVOCATING SUSTAINABILITY OF WETLANDS – Development Management Officer III and Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section (PAMBCS) Chief Robert V. Rivera explains on the air the importance and benefits of wetlands to humans and the environment on Jan. 31, this year as kick off activity of the 50th World Wetlands Day celebration on Feb 2, this year.  He said wetlands, distinct ecosystem flooded by water permanently or seasonally, are essential in producing food supply, controlling flood waters, mitigating climate change, and filtering pollutants to release freshwater. “Wetlands must not be disturbed as they are home to Philippine ducks and migratory birds which are contributory in controlling pest and plant diseases. We have to free them from trash, hyacinth or water lily; plant endemic or native trees in wetland areas; and avoid fishing,” For. Rivera said.  The PAMBCS Chief has emphasized the strong partnership of DENR and Local Government Units in crafting, updating and implementing the respective Wetlands Management Plan of the 16 wetland sites of region 2.  The celebration of World Wetlands Day was adopted during the Convention on Wetlands attended by 170 countries on Feb. 2, 1971 in Ramsar, Iran.  It is also celebrated in the Philippines by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 74 s. 1999.#