World Migratory Bird Day 2021 Series of Activities were Conducted by Misamis University and Partners
This year's World Migratory Bird Day was celebrated last May 8, 2021 with the theme "Sing, Fly, Soar, Like a Bird!". World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated twice each year on the Second Saturday of May and October. This activity aims to raise awareness on the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats and the need for international cooperation to conserve and protect them. There are 8 major migratory bird flyways and these are the Pacific Americas, Central Americas, Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic, Black Sea-Mediterranean, East Asia-East Africa, Central Asia, and East Asia-Australasia. The Philippines belong to the East Asia-Australasia flyway which extends from Arctic Russia and North America to the southern limits of Australia and New Zealand, and it encompasses in the large parts of East Asia and all of Southeast Asia.
In celebration of this international conservation endeavour, Misamis University, with funding assistance from the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), initiated a series of activities in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and support from the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). For this year, Misamis University is the only organization in the Philippines whose proposal for the WMBD celebration was approved by the EAAFP. Eight other proponents were countries that compose the flyway, and these are : Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Mongolia, Bangladesh (2), Russia and Australia (2).
Prior to the actual celebration of the World Migratory Bird Day, meetings were held to plan the activities, designing of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials, and a series of consultations were carried out by Misamis University with its partner agencies.
Installation of billboards was conducted by the personnel of Misamis University Community Extension Program (MUCEP) and DENR- Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO). They were assisted by the barangay officials and local government personnel of Barangay Migpange in Bonifacio, Barangay Mantic in Tangub City and Barangay Poblacion in Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental. The said materials contain information about the different migratory birds that are found in the areas and messages that promote protection and conservation of these species. The theme of this event was also translated in Bisaya which says “Pagkanta, Paglupad Pataas sama sa usa ka Langgam!”. Varied translation of the theme in different languages by the hosting organizations from different countries were then posted in the website of the EAAFP. Please check www.eaaflyway.net and www.worldmigratorbirdday.org for more information about migratory bird conservation events
In the morning of May 8, 2021, the Virtual Lecture and Workshop for the selected SK Chairmen of Misamis Occidental was held. Via Zoom, streamed through Facebook Live, Associate Professor Yunalyn L. Villantes of Misamis University and Forester Dennis A. Juab of Ozamiz City CENRO discussed about the essential information about migratory birds and the Philippine laws that were legislated to protect them. Aside from the selected SK Chairmen of the province, students, faculty and staff of Misamis University College of Maritime Education, personnel of Ozamiz City CENRO and Maritime Police also participated in the virtual event. The ever dynamic Misamis University President, Dr. Karen Belina F. De Leon, was also present throughout the activity and delivered an inspiring message. According to Dr. De Leon, like the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), migratory birds need to leave their homeland for a season to survive. Thus, she urged the young leaders to do their part in protecting the migratory birds while they are in their respective barangays until they start their journey back home. The active Executive Director of ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, also gave her inspirational message. She emphasized that being a province where one of the ASEAN Heritage Parks is located, Misamis Occidental is a home to a wide range of biodiversity. Thus, Misamisnons should work hard together to conserve it for the sake of the generations to come. There were a total of 46 participants who joined the lecture and workshop via Zoom, while as of May 28, 2021, the Facebook Live Video has a total of 1,600 views
In the afternoon of the actual celebration of WMBD, Coastal Clean-up and Bird-watching were initiated simultaneously in Barangay Mialen, Clarin, Misamis Occidental. Together with the officials of Barangay Mialen, personnel of MUCEP, Ozamiz City CENRO and Maritime Police, and the Misamis University Executive Assistant to the President, Dr. Orlando De Leon, also participated in the activity. A total of 70 participants joined the simultaneous activities
After the event, kits which included the lecture and workshop proceedings, action plan template, posters and T-shirts that promote awareness and protection of migratory birds, were distributed to the SK Chairmen of the selected coastal barangays of the province. Although the Virtual Lecture and Workshop was a one-day activity, the SK Chairmen were encouraged to apply their learnings during their term of service by formulating activities for the conservation and protection of migratory birds and the wetland areas in their respective barangays.