Biosphere reserves of the Philippines

Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. The biosphere reserve title is handed over by UNESCO. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. Biosphere reserves are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites’ – special places for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity. Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Their status is internationally recognized.[1]

Reserves

The Philippines currently has three UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. The first Biosphere of the country was designated in 1977.

The Palawan Biosphere Reserve is the only biosphere reserve in the country that contains a Ramsar Wetland Site (Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park) and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Tubbataha Reefs National Park and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park)

The Philippines became a committee member of the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO in 2016 and shall retain the position until 2019.

Mt.Mayon tam3rd
View on the half way to Kayangan Lake - panoramio
Sabang Bay

Ecological frontiers like Eastern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Sibuyan island, Western Panay, the Sierra Madre, Southern Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, and the Cordilleras are theoretically capable of standing as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the future, along with specific Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) designated by Haribon Foundation and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Philippines). In comparison to the 3 biosphere reserve of the Philippines, Indonesia has 11 biosphere reserves, China has 33, India has 10, Iran has 11, Japan has 9, Kazakhstan has 8, South Korea has 5, Sri Lanka has 4, and Vietnam has 9. The Philippines is one of the 18 ecological hotpot countries of the world, containing more than 228 Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).[1]

Albay is the latest to be added to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2016. The government plans to nominate reserves in the Philippines annually once its committee membership ends.[2]

Reserves by Philippine regions

Exclusive UNESCO Biosphere reserved refer to reserved locating in a single community/region. Shared reserves refer to reserved with entries in multiple communities/regions.

Community Exclusive reserves Shared reserves
Ilocandia
Cordillera
Cagayan Valley
Central Luzon
Manila
Calabarzon
Mimaropa 2
Bicolandia 1
Western Visayas
Central Visayas
Eastern Visayas
Zamboanga
Northern Mindanao
Caraga
Davao
Soccsksargen
Bangsamoro

Proposed Reserves

In July 27, 2018, the provincial government of Apayao announced their intent to start the long process to declare the Calanasan rainforests as a protected area and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve or World Heritage Site. The site is the stronghold of Philippine eagles in Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. The province also noted that they have sent four of their personnel to train in the United States under the US Foreign Service to hasten the declaration of the site.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/biosphere-reserves/
  2. ^ a b UNESCO Press (19 March 2016). "20 sites added to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  3. ^ http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/biosphere-reserves/asia-and-the-pacific/philippines/palawan/
  4. ^ http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/ecological-sciences/biosphere-reserves/asia-and-the-pacific/philippines/puerto-galera/
  5. ^ http://northluzon.politics.com.ph/gov-bulut-wants-calanasan-philippine-eagle-sanctuary-declared-as-protected-area/
Albay

Albay (Central Bicolano: Probinsya kan Albay; Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Albay; Spanish: Provincia de Albay) is a province located in the Bicol Region in southeastern Luzon of the Philippines.

Its capital is the City of Legazpi, the regional center of the whole Bicol Region, which is located in the southern foothill of Mayon Volcano, the symbol most associated with the province. This perfectly symmetrical active stratovolcano forms a magnificent, scenic backdrop to the city of Legazpi and is visible throughout the municipalities and cities of Albay including the surrounding provinces.The province was added to the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves in March 2016.

List of Ramsar sites in the Philippines

The Ramsar Convention (formally, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.

The Philippines enforced the Ramsar Convention in its whole territory on November 8, 1994. Since then, Ramsar has designated 7 Ramsar sites in the country. Two Ramsar sites in the Philippines have been declared by UNESCO as world heritage sites, namely Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.A national inventory of wetland resources, based on the best scientific information available, is mandated by the Convention since 1990 through Recom 4.6. A Framework for Wetland Inventory was also established by the Convention in 2002 to aid member states in establishing their own national inventory for wetland sites. The inventory makes it possible to prioritize appropriate wetland sites for designation on the Ramsar List, similar to the tentative list of UNESCO, where UNESCO sites must always come from the tentative list. There is currently no publicly disclosed wetland inventory in the Philippines, but it is assumed that such inventory exists as the Philippines, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has already nominated at least seven Philippine wetlands since 1994.

The current representation of the Philippines in Ramsar wetland nominations is inactive compared with the Ramsar wetland nominations of its peers. By comparison, the Philippines has 7 sites, while Mexico has more than 140, the archipelagic country of Japan has more than 50, the African nation of Algeria has more than 50, and the small country of South Korea has 22. The Philippines, an archipelagic country, theoretically possesses more wetlands than South Korea and North Korea combined. This has prompted various scholars to push the government to participate more in the nominations of Philippine wetlands in the Ramsar Convention. By rule, the Philippines may nominate multiple sites as Ramsar sites like what Mexico did in 2008, where at least 45 of its nominated sites were specifically declared as new Ramsar sites.

List of World Heritage Sites in the Philippines

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated six World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.

The Philippines, following its ratification of the convention on Thursday, September 19, 1985, made its historical and natural sites eligible for inclusion on the list. The Philippines had its first sites included in 1993, and since 2014, has six sites on the list spanning nine locations. Of those six sites, three are cultural and three natural. The first 5 sites inscribed in the UNESCO Heritage List was initiated by ICOMOS Philippines, an non-profit heritage organization, which partnered with the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines and the Heritage Conservation Society.

The Philippines has a cultural inventory, called the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property or PRECUP, and a natural inventory called the National Integrated Protected Areas System or NIPAS. Both of which were established by various Philippine laws. The intangible cultural heritage list of the Philippines is under the PRECUP.

In 2015, the 28 sites in the 'Tentative List' were revised. Currently, the Tentative List for possible nomination in the future contains nineteen submissions.

In November 2017, the Philippines was elected as a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO. In March 2018, the Philippines was elected as Vice President of the Preparatory Group of the Executive Board.

List of protected areas of the Philippines

This is a list of protected areas of the Philippines administered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Biodiversity Management Bureau under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992. As of 2013, there are 240 protected areas in the Philippines covering a total area of 54,500 square kilometres (21,000 sq mi) – 14.2% of the Philippines' total area.

Palawan

Palawan (pron. ), officially the Province of Palawan (Cuyonon: Probinsya i'ang Palawan / Paragua; Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Palawan; Hiligaynon: Kapuoran sang Palawan; Cebuano: Lalawigan sa Palawan) is an archipelagic province of the Philippines that is located in the region of MIMAROPA. It is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. Its capital is the city of Puerto Princesa, but the city is governed independently from the province as a highly urbanized city.

The islands of Palawan stretch between Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island (09°30′N 118°30′E), measuring 450 kilometres (280 mi) long, and 50 kilometres (31 mi) wide.

Puerto Galera

Puerto Galera, officially the Municipality of Puerto Galera, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 36,606 people.It is located at the north-westernmost part of Oriental Mindoro, and at the south-western end of the Isla Verde Passage, about 130 kilometers (81 mi) south of Manila. It is mainly accessible from the Southern Luzon gateway port of Batangas by bamboo boats (bangka) operated by local regular operators. Seaplane Operator Air Juan Aviation, Inc. flies 2x daily flights from Manila to Puerto Galera vv. on their Cessna Grand Caravan Seaplanes.

Puerto Galera is 51 kilometres (32 mi) from Calapan, the provincial capital.

Tourism in the Philippines

Tourism is an important sector for Philippine economy. In 2015, the travel and tourism industry contributed 10.6% to the country's GDP. Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,641 islands with 82 provinces divided in 17 regions. The country is known for having its rich biodiversity as its main tourist attraction. Its beaches, heritage towns and monuments, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots are among the country's most popular tourist destinations. The country's rich historical and cultural heritage, including its festivals and indigenous traditions, are also one of the attractions of Philippines. Popular destinations among tourists are Cebu, Boracay, Palawan, Siargao, and many more.

As of 2015, 4.99 million Filipinos have been employed in the tourism sector and the government collected P227.62 billion pesos from foreign tourists, almost 25% of which came from Boracay. The country attracted a total of 5,360,682 foreign visitors in 2015 through its successful tourism campaign of "It's More Fun in the Philippines". In 2017, foreign arrivals peaked at 6,620,908.Philippines has garnered numerous titles related to tourism, namely, the traditional capital of the world's festivities, the capital of the western Pacific, the centre of Hispanic Asia, the Pearl of the Orient Seas, center of the Coral Triangle, and the capital of fun. The country is also a biodiversity hotspot, having the world's highest endemism rate for bird species, and one of the highest for mammals and flora. It is also the largest bastion for Roman Catholicism in all of Asia. The country is also home to one of the New7Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and one of the New7Wonders Cities, the Heritage City of Vigan. It is also home to 6 UNESCO world heritage sites scattered in 9 different locations, 3 UNESCO biosphere reserves, 3 UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, 4 UNESCO memory of the world documentary heritage, 1 UNESCO creative city, 2 UNESCO world heritage cities, 7 Ramsar wetland sites, and 8 ASEAN Heritage Parks. More than 90% of all Filipinos can understand and speak English, as many are multilingual.

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