Philippines – Amidst a lot of issues and controversy on the country, here is some good news, especially for the environment. Last October 01, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on the first ever Protected Area Awards and Recognition (PAR), recognized the countries best-managed or preserved protected areas.
The PAR is a project of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. Awards were presented to protected area managers and staff for their “impressive efforts, initiatives and innovative practices” in the management of protected areas in the country.
The Entries for the PAR were pre-selected and evaluated by DENR’s development partners:including the World Wide Fund-Philippines, Foundation for Philippine Environment, Tanggol Kalikasan, and Conservation International-Philippines, and judged by an independent jury.
A total of seven natural parks were recognized.
The awards were distributed in different categories, each recognizing various aspects of protected area management.
“We would especially like to showcase success stories in protected area management and provide incentives for those behind them,”
“This way, we raise the bar on effective management practices, heighten awareness on the value of our protected areas and therefore advocate for their support from other sectors.”
– the environment chief said
1. Mount Kitanglad Range
Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park in Bukidnon won the most awards in three categories; “Engagement with Indigenous Peoples/Local Communities”, “Institutional Organization/Active PAMB (Protected Area Management Board)”, and “Actual Bio-Physical Improvements”.
Kitanglad Mountain Range is a mountain range that dominates the northern central portion of the province of Bukidnon. It occupies portions of eight of the municipalities and cities in the province. The range is one of the few remaining rainforests in the Philippines, hosting one of the most important diverse species of rare and endemic wildlife such as the Philippine Eagle.
2. Taal Volcano Protected Landscape
The Taal Volcano Protected Landscape,won the award for the “Law Enforcement” category. This recognizes the successful action against violators of relevant environmental laws, considered the most challenging and dangerous activity in protected area management.
Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines with 33 historical eruptions. All of these eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Taal Lake. It is located about 50 km (31 mi) south of the capital of the country, the city of Manila.
3. Apo Island Protected Landscape/Seascape
Apo Island Protected Landscape/Seascape won the “Sustainable/Innovative Financing” award.
This category recognizes managers who have been able to sustain operations despite limited financial support from government, whether through outside sourcing or income generation.
Apo Island is a volcanic island covering 12 hectares in land area, 7 kilometers off the southeastern tip of Negros Island and 30 kilometers south of the Negros Oriental capital of Dumaguete City in the Philippines.
4. Mt. Pulag National Park
Northern Luzon’s Mt. Pulag National Park, got the award under “Impacts on Local Communities” category for putting in place mechanisms that consider the improvement of those living within and adjacent to the protected site through sustainable and biodiversity-friendly interventions.
Mount Pulag (or sometimes Mount Pulog) is the third highest mountain in the Philippines. It is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,922 meters above sea level. The borders between the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain’s peak. It’s a a popular destination for mountain trekkers.
5. Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape
Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape got the “Partnership” category, awarded for its collaborative efforts with local government units (LGUs).
Mount Banahaw (alternative spelling: Banahao or Banájao) is an active volcano on Luzon Island in the Republic of the Philippines. The three-peaked volcano complex is located between the provinces of Laguna and Quezon and is the tallest mountain in the CALABARZON region dominating the landscape for miles around.
6. Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape
Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape in Palawan was cited for its partnership with civil society organizations.
Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL) is a mountain range covering 120,457 hectares in Southern Palawan, Philippines. Mt. Mantalingahan is home to indigenous Palaw’ans and is the highest peak along the central spine of mountains in southern Palawan.
7. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, also in Palawan, was recognized for its partnership with other government agencies.
The Tubbataha Reef (Filipino: Bahurang Tubbataha) is an atoll coral reef and a Natural Marine Park in Sulu Sea, Philippines comprising two huge atolls (the North Atoll and South Atoll) and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef. Since divers discovered Tubbataha in the late 1970s, it has become recognized as one of the most remarkable coral reefs on our planet. The CNN travel website, cnngo.com, ranks it among the top eight dive sites in the world.
If you Know a Natural park not on the list, but should have been recognized?
Leave a comment and let you voice be heard. Besides this is still the first PAR