Rapid population growth, urbanization, and climate change are endangering the quality and availability of freshwater resources. The APN project, “Integrated Assessment and Pathways for Nature-Based Water Treatment in Urban Areas in Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Vietnam” (CRRP2021-06MY-Jegatheesan), aims to provide a framework and guides to facilitate the replication of nature-based solutions (NbS). The project focused on case studies involving constructed floating wetlands in Sri Lanka and Vietnam, green roofs in Vietnam, and constructed wetlands in the Philippines.
During the second regional meeting held on the 15th to 17th of August, 2023, in Manila and Bayawan City, project partners engaged with various stakeholders and funding organizations to disseminate project outcomes and gather valuable feedback. The Mayor of Bayawan City graciously hosted the APN project team, arranging informative tours to visit the Bayawan constructed wetland, one of our project’s case studies, as well as the local landfill. The wetland facility, treating septic tank effluent from 750 households, was constructed in 2006 and spans approximately 3,000m² with a rated capacity of around 540m³/day. It’s a hybrid system comprising vertical flow (1,800 m², 1.5 m deep) and horizontal flow (880 m 2,0.75 m deep) constructed wetlands in two stages. The wetland discharges highly treated water into the ocean without harming the environment. Our project has successfully documented the effectiveness and overall impacts of the constructed wetland with the assistance from Engr. Antonio S Aguilar Jr., the Assistant City Engineer, and his team. This valuable data instills significant confidence in the potential for replicating similar systems to treat septic tank effluent and the team members from other countries had the opportunity to witness a successful demonstration of a large-scale wetland.
The Mayor of Bayawan City expressed gratitude during the regional meeting for APN’s invaluable support in promoting the replication of NbS for urban water treatment. He acknowledged the significance of showcasing the Bayawan Wetland and utilizing its data to develop frameworks and guides. A certificate of appreciation was awarded to APN during a dinner hosted by the mayor on June 16th. Our experience was truly enriched by the meticulous organization and execution of the visits. The unwavering dedication, sincerity, and hard work of the Mayor and his team in fostering a harmonious and healthy environment are truly commendable. Their exceptional hospitality added an extra layer of warmth to our stay.
APN’s guidance and support have allowed the project to make a positive impact on the broader societal landscape, including Bayawan City and its successful NbS implementation. We greatly appreciate APN’s encouragement of regional collaborations, as it plays a pivotal role in building a substantial community of experts who are eager to learn and share knowledge. This collective capacity significantly contributes to the betterment of communities. We extend our gratitude to Dr. Linda Anne Stevenson and her dedicated team, including Nafesa Ismail, Aiko Seki, and Naomi Young, for their prompt and invaluable advice and support across various requests.