Philippines: Wetland Ecosystem Services Workshop

Series: ADB Data Room: Regional Flyway Initiative

Philippines: Wetland Ecosystem Services Workshop

27 June 2023 to 30 June 2023

This RFI Ecosystem Services Training Workshop for the Philippines was held at ADB Headquarters in Manila and included a field visit to Balanga Nature and Wetland Park in Bataan Province. The Balanga wetlands are a critical site for migratory birds along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and crucial to the Province's fisheries, tourism, and other economic sectors.  

This training takes off from the workshop Regional Flyway Initiative: Understanding Wetland Ecosystem Services and How to Assess Them, conducted during the 11th Meeting of Partners of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP).

Learning objective(s): To build the capacity of wetland managers, policymakers, and conservation practitioners in the Philippines through an in-depth understanding of:

  • wetland ecosystem services and how to assess them,
  • best practices in wetland management, including management and restoration activities that enhance ecosystem services,
  • experiences and case studies in nature-based solutions (NBS) and their implementation.

Target audience: wetland (site) managers, conservation practitioners, and policymakers (2-3 persons from each priority wetland site).

Participation and mode of delivery: By invitation only and in-person with some sessions made available online (via Zoom).  

Under Phase 1 of the RFI, 20 wetland sites in the Philippines were assessed and 12 priority sites, comprising 9 coastal and 3 freshwater wetlands, were identified. Seven of these priority sites overlapped with protected areas.  Species occurring in large congregations included (≥1%): 28 species, including Great Knot (EN), Chinese Egret (VU), Grey-tailed Tattler (NT), Red-necked Stint (NT), Chinese Crested Tern (CR) and several herons and anatid sp. (e.g. Tufted Duck, Garganey).

The Manila training was an opportunity to continue Phase 2 of site selection in the Philippines based on the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) that involves stakeholder engagement activity to gather consensus on:

  • boundaries, habitat types, ecosystem services provisioning, challenges and threats at the site level,
  • capacity needs and gaps for site managers on the ground and at policy and project management levels.

Building the capacity of ADB developing member countries and EAAFP partners in managing sustainable wetlands and shifting to nature-based solutions in the Flyway’s most important wetlands is a key part of the RFI's work.


Program and Learning Materials: 
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
27 Jun 2023 Opening Session Welcome Remarks Pavit Ramachandran, Country Director for the Philippines, ADB
27 Jun 2023 Opening Session Keynote Address Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Secretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources | Marcial C. Amaro Jr., Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning & Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects, DENR
27 Jun 2023 Opening Session Opening Remarks Jennifer George, EAAFP Vinayagan Dharmarajah, BirdLife International | Paul Brown, USAID Philippines
27 Jun 2023 Opening Session RFI and Sustainable Wetlands Management
The session gives an overview on the Regional Flyway Initiative (RFI), which envisions a network of sustainable wetlands along the EAA Flyway and hosted...
Duncan Lang
27 Jun 2023 Opening Session RFI Site Selection Process in the Philippines
The framework for priority site selection has equipped the team in developing a priority list with 147 sites (Phase 1), which will evolve into a short...
Ding Li Yong
27 Jun 2023 Session 1 – Introduction to Wetlands Ecosystem Services Wetlands and Ecosystem Services: Opportunities and Applications
A deep dive session on wetland ecosystem services, this takes off from the importance of wetlands to examples of how interventions can benefit both society...
Ariana Sutton-Grier
27 Jun 2023 Session 2 – Wetlands Ecosystem Services Tools Introduction to Ecosystem Services Assessment
To guide policy- and decision-making, tools that allow economic valuation of ecosystem services (ES) areused to assess and measure ecosystem values in...
Kelvin Peh
27 Jun 2023 Introduction to the Preliminary Scoping Appraisal of the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA)
TESSA typically involves six (6) steps. The Preliminary Scoping Appraisal (PSA) is the second stage and aims to derive an initial understanding of the...
Evelyn Piña-Covarrubias
27 Jun 2023 Differences in Use and Application between Ecosystem Service Assessment Tools
Ecosystem services are measured and valuated through different tools. Other tools (aside from TESSA) are also being used, allowing practitioners and site...
Stefano Barchiesi
27 Jun 2023 Breakout Session 1: Reviewing the Boundaries of the 12 RFI Wetlands in the Philippines – A prelude to ES Assessment Work Facilitators
27 Jun 2023 Welcome Reception Inspirational Messages Anson Tagtag, OIC Chief, Caves, Wetlands and Other Ecosystems Division, DENR-BMB | Julia Welch, US Department of the Interior-ITAP
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
28 Jun 2023 Session 3 – Nature-based Solutions in Wetlands Nature Based Solutions: An Introduction and Case Studies
Nature based solutions (NBS) are interventions inspired and supported by nature and benefit biodiversity while supporting the delivery of a range of ecosystem...
Conor Shea
28 Jun 2023 Conservation and Management of Wetlands in the Philippines
The Philippines is host to some of the world’s richest and biodiverse wetlands ecosystems. It is blessed with about 796,000hectares of coral reefs and...
Joy Navarro
28 Jun 2023 Breakout Session 2: Constraints on Restoring Natural Processes and Defining Alternative States for the RFI Wetland Sites Facilitators
28 Jun 2023 Session 4 – Assessing the Ecosystem Services of RFI Sites: Carbon Assessment Carbon Biomass Estimates using Remote Sensing
Climate change is significantly impacting and will continue to impact all nations of the world. With emerging technologies and tools now being made available...
Radhika Bhargava
28 Jun 2023 Dinner Meet & Greet and Dinner with the Philippines’ Biodiversity Management Bureau-DENR
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
29 Jun 2023 Session 5 - Field Trip and Town Hall Meeting Tour of Balanga Nature and Wetland Park | Stories from the Field: Field-based Interpretation of Ecosystem Services RFI Team & Balanga City Community Stakeholders
29 Jun 2023 Environmental Management Programs in the City of Balanga Merliza C. Acosta
29 Jun 2023 The Philippine Bird Festival: A Showcase of Vibrant CSO-Government Collaboration
This article is shared by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines through its President, Mr. Mike Lu. Mike’s presentation mostly focused on this successful...
Mike Lu
29 Jun 2023 Lessons Learned in Wetlands Management
Similar to the challenges being faced by local governments all over the Philippines, the City of Balanga faces habitat degradation,solid wastes and sewage...
Miguela Ramirez
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
30 Jun 2023 Session 6 – Workshop Synthesis and Continuation of Stakeholder Consultations Stakeholder and Capacity Assessment
The RFI aims to build a business case for sustainable wetlands through the development of project concepts in priority sites along the EAA flyway and ...
Billy Fairburn
30 Jun 2023 Closing Session Next Steps Duncan Lang, ADB
30 Jun 2023 Key Takeaways
The 4-day training workshop highlighted thenecessity for a comprehensive assessment of wetland ecosystem services for better informed decisions and building...
Anson Tagtag
30 Jun 2023 Closing Remarks Chantale Yok-Min Wong, United States Ambassador, ADB | Vinayagan Dharmarajah, Regional Director, BirdLife International


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