Visitors and guests celebrated the inauguration of Boracay Wetland Conservation Park (BWCP) during the official reopening of Boracay to the public on October 26.
They enjoyed a ribboncutting ceremony, guided trail walks with wetland volunteers, wetland and wildlife viewing, and tree planting of critically endangered native trees in Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) adopted 7.79-hectare conservation park.
The site in Brgy. Balabag is one of Boracay’s nine identified wetlands by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Wetland no. 2—a brackish-water swampturned-construction dump—is now a conservation park with a two-story deck for bird watching and pathways showcasing native trees.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, EDC head of Finance Nestor Vasay emphasized the importance of having access to nature close to home and thanked everyone who helped make the conservation park a reality, from local workers and members of the community to EDC and DENR staff and volunteers.
"It’s places like this that help us all understand the fragility of nature,” Vasay said, “and how important it is for all of us to work together so that it will sustain us and our family in the future.”
Envisioned as a very important tourist attraction in Boracay, BWCP is planned out to be constructed with facilities for locals and tourists to visit and appreciate nature up close. “…There will be 29 species of trees that can be seen here, 21 of which are part of the 96 threatened species that EDC BINHI rescued from extinction and is propagating in our state-of-the-art automated nurseries in Antipolo, Rizal and Negros Oriental,” said Atty. Allan Barcena, head of the Watershed and CSR department of EDC.
“By planting these tree seedlings now, we hope in a few years’ time Boracay will not only boast of its clean waters and crystal white sands but will also show off their native tree arboretum which can become an added source of pride by the community,” Barcena added.
To date, the BINHI program has reforested 9,196 hectares across EDC’s geothermal sites in Leyte, Bicol, Negros Oriental and North Cotabato.(Story/Photos by: Ivy Henson)