The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct the 2nd East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) Congress on Research and Development (R & D) for Wetlands and Migratory Waterbirds in the course of Climate Change on October 7 to 11, 2019 at the L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City.

According to Dr. Simplicia A. Pasicolan, lead organizer of the event and Chief Science Research Specialist in Urban Ecosystems Research Division of ERDB, there are four sub-themes that will be discussed during the Congress. These include: 1) effects or impacts of climate change to wetlands and migratory waterbirds; 2) appropriate management strategies on wetland habitat of waterbirds; 3) adaptable enabling instruments in protecting wetland habitats along flyway, and 4) frontline innovation and breakthroughs for sustainable urban future for people, wetlands, and waterbirds.

Dr. Pasicolan stated that through the Congress, ERDB hopes to strengthen partnership among EAAF states through identification R & D gaps and initiatives for the conservation of migratory birds and their wetland habitats in the face of climate change. The event will be participated by around 200 delegates from different countries such as Russia, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, United States of America, Cambodia, Japan, and Pakistan to discuss recent R & D studies on waterbirds and wetlands within the EAAF.

According to EAAF Partnership, the EAAF, a route that supports migratory birds in their migration, is home to over 50 million migratory waterbirds from over 250 different populations. It also includes 32 globally threatened species and 19 near threatened species.

The Philippines serves as habitat to more than 80 species of migratory birds that visit the country every year.

According to Dr. Pasicolan, “the growing demand of water for both humans and animals could lead to water shortage. This could lead to the need to look for alternative sources of water which could dry our wetlands which are essential for migratory birds.”

“With the devastating impacts of climate change, now more than ever, we need to work together towards the protection and conservation of these species and their habitats,” said Dr. Quintana.

ERDB is the research and development arm of DENR. In 2014, it spearheaded the 1st EAAF Congress in Cebu City which also convened participants from various countries within the EAAF. – Allysa Marie C. Federio