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Mercury pollution is also a threat to the marsh where traces of mercury have been recorded in sediments, plants and fish upstream and downstream of the marsh (Roa, 2007).Social concerns such as population pressure, poverty, livelihood and basic health needs also pose additional challenges.Agusan Marsh is a wetland of international importance due to its hydro-ecological significance, biological diversity and uniqueness as a natural wetland.
In Agusan, a Master Plan for the Agusan River Basin following an integrated river basin management approach has been developed mapping out development strategies that promote maximum development of resources and reduce poverty.
The Master Plan has been completed and presented to the Regional Development Council (RDC) and revisions are ongoing.
Major swamps and marshes in the Philippines are listed in Table 12.
Some conservation efforts are ongoing in these swamps and marshes, notably in the Ligawasan and Agusan Marsh in Mindanao and the Candaba Swamp in Pampanga.
Included in the Master Plan is the construction of 10 large dams to be completed by 2030 which may have profound impacts on the natural flood regime of the marsh and affect its natural ecological functions.
Recommendations for a review of the Master Plan have been put forward.
There is a local initiative to register the Marsh as among United Nation’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites.
The Marsh provides significant ecological and social benefits globally and locally.
Pampanga, a province of Central Luzon in the Philippines, was established along the banks ("pampang") of a great river that was to shape its history-the Rio Grande de la Pampanga.