Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area

The Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), also known as the Las Piñas–Parañaque Wetland Park, is a protected area at the coasts of the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque in Metro Manila, Philippines. The entire wetland is a declared Ramsar site under the Ramsar Convention of UNESCO.

Las Piñas–Parañaque Wetland Park (LPPWP)
Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA)
The protected area in 2016
Map showing the location of Las Piñas–Parañaque Wetland Park (LPPWP)
Map showing the location of Las Piñas–Parañaque Wetland Park (LPPWP)
Location within Metro Manila
LocationLas Piñas and Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines
Area181 ha (450 acres)[1]
DesignatedApril 22, 2007 (2007-04-22) (as a critical habitat)
August 22, 2018 (2018-08-22) (as a national protected area)
AdministratorDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources
Adjacent toManila Bay
Major islands
  • Freedom Island
  • Long Island
Official nameLas Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA)
DesignatedMarch 15, 2013
Reference no.2124[2]

History edit

Aerial view of the Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area in 2022

In November 1973, the Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines (now Philippine National Construction Corporation) secured a government contract for the Manila–Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project.[3] The project to extend Roxas Boulevard south to Cavite province required reclamation of foreshore lands in Parañaque and Las Piñas. Construction of the 6.6 km-long coastal road started during the term of President Ferdinand Marcos and was completed and opened to traffic in September 1985.[4] The island was formed during construction with plans to expand the island and continue reclamation of the coastal area from Bay City to Las Piñas following Philippine Reclamation Authority's masterplan for the Southern Reclamation Project.[3][5]

The islands were proclaimed as a Critical Habitat by the Philippine government through Presidential Proclamation No. 1412 on April 22, 2007.[6] It covered 175 hectares covering the two interconnected islands where important bird habitats such as mangroves, beach forests, lagoons, and mudflats are found.[7] It was listed as a Ramsar wetland of international importance on March 15, 2013.[8] Upon the enactment of the Republic Act No. 11038 (Expanded National Integrated Protected Area Act) on June 22, 2018, the LPPCHEA was legislated as a National Protected Area covering 181 hectares.[9]

On February 12, 2019, approximately 22 Manila Bay land reclamation projects were announced by the government, sparking criticism. Among those to be affected by the reclamation projects is the Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area.[10][11][12]

Geography edit

Pond at the park

The Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) are composed of two primary islands; Freedom Island and Long Island. The area is covered with mangroves, ponds and lagoons, mudflats, salt marshes, and mixed beach forests.[13] The entire LPPCHEA covers an area of 181.63 hectares (448.8 acres); about 114 hectares (280 acres) of which are by tidal mudflats, and 30 hectares (74 acres) of which are by its mangrove forest.[14]

Freedom Island edit

Freedom Island located in the northern portion of the LPPCHEA in Parañaque[15] is an artificial island formed between 1973 and 1985 during the construction of the Manila–Cavite Coastal Road.[7]

Freedom Island covers an area of about 74 acres (0.30 km2) with an elevation of between 0 and 7 meters above sea level.[7] It is a barrier island located across from the Manila–Cavite Expressway just south of another reclaimed site called Asiaworld City, a residential waterfront community that is part of the bigger Bay City development. The island runs along the coast from barangay La Huerta at its north end near the mouth of Parañaque River into barangay San Dionisio right at the border with Las Piñas. A narrow landfill connects its southern tip to the mainland and Long Island near the expressway toll barrier.

Freedom Island consists primarily of loam and dredged material pulled from the bay and nearby lands.

Long Island edit

Long Island and another smaller island also formed by land reclamation are situated south of Freedom Island[7] and is under the jurisdiction of the city of Las Piñas.[15]

Fauna edit

A white egret at the LPPCHEA.

The LPPCHEA contains a mangrove forest and swamps providing a habitat for many migratory bird species[7] which devises the East Asian–Australasian Migratory Flyway. There are at least 41 recorded migratory birds coming from as far as China, Japan, and Siberia in the protected area. The migration season is every August to April and there could be 5,000 individual birds daily. Among these birds are the Little Egret, Black-Crowned Night Heron, and the Common Moorhen.[13]

Among the endemic species in the area is the Philippine duck. The LPPCHEA is the only known breeding ground for the ducks in Metro Manila. During the low tide, small invertebrates and macrobenthic species are exposed to the air which are consumed by birds and other small animals in the area.[13] The area is also a spawning ground, nursery and sanctuary for fishes.[14]

Flora edit

LPPCHEA's mangrove trees

The LPPCHEA hosts one of the few remaining mangrove forests in Metro Manila. There are 11 mangrove species in the area. These are locally known as the Bungalon, Bakauan Babae, Bakauan Bato, Pototan, Kolasi, Pagatpat, Banalo, Tabigi, Saging-saging, Buta-buta and Nilad. Nilad is a species introduced to the area by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR).[13]

Only a select few salt-tolerant species of herbs, grasses, and shrubs grow in the LPPCHEA's salt marshes due to the high saline content in the area's soil.[13]

Wetland Center Museum edit

Parañaque Mayor Eric Olivarez and Cynthia Villar with environmental lawyer Atty. Antonio Oposa and Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Members, inauguarated The Wetland Center Museum at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park was inaugurated on February 2, 2024 to mark World Wetlands Day.[16]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area Map". Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  2. ^ "Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA)". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "G.R. No. 133250". The Lawphil Project. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  4. ^ "Cavitex". Toll Regulatory Board. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Las Piñas-Parañaque Coastal Bay reclamation project". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  6. ^ "Proclamation No. 1412, s. 2007 | GOVPH". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS) – 2009-2014" (PDF). Wetlands International. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "The Annotated Ramsar List: Philippines". Ramsar Convention. Archived from the original on October 8, 2013. Retrieved July 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "Republic Act No. 11038 | GOVPH". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Rivas, Ralf. "LIST: At least 6 Manila Bay reclamation projects to start soon". Rappler.
  11. ^ "Rally held against Manila Bay reclamation projects". The Manila Times.
  12. ^ Yap, D. J. "Gov't processing 22 Manila Bay reclamation projects".
  13. ^ a b c d e "Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area". Department of Environment and Natural Resources - National Capital Region. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Fuentes, Lu-Ann; Bajarias, Mads (March 11, 2015). "Metro Manila's 'secret' wildlife sanctuary—and why it might disappear soon". GMA News. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "LPPCHEA Wetland Centre Complex". Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  16. ^ Bautista, Nillicent (February 3, 2024). "Wetland Center Museum inaugurated". The Philippine Star.

External links edit

14°29′N 120°59′E / 14.49°N 120.98°E / 14.49; 120.98