To ensure that the Philippines actively participate and engage with UNESCO’s programs and conventions like the World Heritage Convention and Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO (UNACOM) organized the third leg of the workshop series entitled Pamana: World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve Nomination Series.
The first two legs were held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan on April 14-15, 2016 and Mati City, Davao Oriental on September 15-16, 2016 while the third workshop was held in Bicol University (BU) College of Science, Legazpi City, on March 23-24, 2017.
The workshop specifically sought to push for the World Heritage nomination bid of Mayon Volcano Natural Park (MVNP) and its surrounding areas of cultural and natural importance. Other than the clear outstanding value of the Site being proposed, the said conference wanted to open up doors for further development not only for the MVNP but more importantly for the Albayanos.
Participated by officials from the different DENR and DOT regional offices across the country, BU officials, and media men, the workshop series also aimed to build the technical capacities of the representatives of the different sites in the Tentative List of the Philippines, in view of the eventual submission and consideration in the World Heritage List.
Lila Shahani, UNACOM Secretary General gave the welcome address, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara gave his message while BU President Arnulfo Mascariñas keynoted the event.
Arch. Michael Manalo lectured on the topic A Brief Overview of World Heritage Protection and Management Requirements; Crisanta Rodriguez, OIC – Regional Director of Department of Environment and Natural Resources 5, spoke about the Recent Developments and Innovations in Biodiversity Management and Regulation in Protected Areas in the Philippines; and Dr. Roy Ponce, Vice President for Research, Development and Extension of DOSCST, lectured on the Case Study: Conservation Issues at Mt. Hamiguitan Range and Wildlife Sanctuary. The participants had an open forum after the speakers delivered their talks.
The participants also underwent write shop on protection and management, collection of write shop outputs, tour of MVNP and Site Visit for Promotion of Local Trade. Also, the Site Manager’s Meeting and Side Meeting on MVNP was also conducted which aimed to encourage Site Managers in capacitating Sites in the Tentative List through any form of technical support and advice.
Meanwhile, the workshop was structured according to the three pillars of World Heritage inscription namely Outstanding Universal Value, Authenticity and Integrity and Protection and Management. The series was also a follow-up workshop on the Tentative List held on 2014 in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, which also focused on building the capacities of sites representatives.
Moreover, the workshop was conducted in coordination with the Science and Technology Committee of PH NatCom and the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO.
As of now, the Philippines has three Man and Biosphere Reserves like Palawan, Puerto Galera, and Albay which was inscribed in Peru on March 2016. The World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve nominations were included in the workshop as both contain similarities in terms of protection requirements and in the technicalities required in the dossier writing. Joshua Pacleta/CPRO