Assistant Secretary for Climate Change and concurrent Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Ricardo Calderon emphasizes during a virtual press conference that while peatlands are not that popular to the public, this type of wetland is very important because they “act like sponges or foams that absorb and hold large amounts of water, which many ecosystems rely, and hinder sudden release of water that cause flooding.” The BMB Director also cited the Caimpugan Peatland (inset), which serves as a carbon stock that can hold up to 22.9 million tons of carbon; hence, with “the voluntary carbon market of $7 per ton, around $160 million dollars can be gained from the carbon offsetting mechanism.” The virtual press conference held on November 6 is being facilitated by PLDT Inc., and Smart Communications, Inc., and is still a part of the DENR-PLDT Smart partnership conservation program for the Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary wherein the Caimpugan Peatland serves as the pilot conservation site. Under the program, the DENR will be providing technical services to Bantay Danao Conservation Group volunteers, while PLDT-Smart will be equipping the volunteers with digital and communication tools such as radio devices, mobile phones, and drone equipment to support their enforcement activities. ###