Mt. Apo, Mt. Hamiguitan Nominated As World Heritage Sites

Mindanao might yet have two of its natural attractions listed in the World Heritage Site if it meets the criteria set by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union.

The said mountains are located in the provinces of Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, the city of Davao and North Cotabato.

Aside from being Mindanao's highest peek, it is also a sanctuary of endangered and threatened biological species including the Philippine Eagle or Pithecophaga jefferyl which is known as the World's second largest eagle; the Almaciga or Agathis philippinensis and the Lauan or Shorea palita. Mt. Apo is also home to three indigenous communities namely the Bagobos, Manobos and the Klatas.

Mt. Hamiguitan, on the other hand, is situated in a biogeographic region in Mindanao with high units of flora and fauna including the remaining blocks of Philippine dipterocarp forests where the Philippine Eagle nests and where over 878 species of plans mostly angiosperms exist.

Only sites that have been included in the country's Tentative List can be nominated to the World Heritage List and only those that meet at least one of the 10 selection criteria can be included in the list.

Among the sites included in the World Heritage List are the Baroque Churches of the Philippines, the Tubbataha Reef Marine ark, the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Historic Town of Vigan and Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park.

"This will be an opportunity for Mindanao to be identified as a Heritage Site," said Councilor Leo Avila. He said they have been given until December this year to provide the necessary information to UNESCO to support the nomination of Mt. Apo and Mt. Hamiguitan.

Avila, who solicited the support of Mindanaoans who can contribute any significant information that can help the bid to include the sites in the World Heritage List, said it is imperative to curb the uncontrolled trekking of tourists in Mt. Apo because it endangers the site.(thanks to Tacurong Mountaineers for the Mt. Apo photo)

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