Mt Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary has just been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! It’s the 6th and newest for the Philippines as declared in the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha Qatar, announced today, 23 June 2014.
— UNESCO (@UNESCO) June 23, 2014
It is also the first World Heritage Site found in the major island of Mindanao. From the UNESCO website Tentative list:
Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Mindanao, Philippines is the only protected forest noted for its unique bonsai field or ‘pygmy’ forest of 100-year old trees in an ultramafic soil. Mt. Hamiguitan has been found to have five (5) vegetation types and these are the agroecosystem, dipterocarp, montane and typical mossy and the mossy-pygmy forest. This serially nominated property is found to possess high and varied ecosystem with many endangered, endemic and rare species of flora and fauna.
The 6,834-hectare total surface area of Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is characterized by five (5) vegetation types, namely, agro-ecosystem (75-420m asl), dipterocarp (420-920m asl), montane (920-1160m asl), typical mossy (1160-1350m asl) and the mossy-pygmy forest (1160-1200m asl). Each of these forest type harbors endemic, threatened, rare and economically important species of flora and fauna.
Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary belongs to the 15 biogeographic zones in the Philippines considered to have the highest land-based biological diversity in terms of flora and fauna per unit area. This site is therefore nominated for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List for its outstanding universal significance.
The Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary was submitted for inclusion last 21 December 2009 by the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines and has been in the Tentative list until now. It is also home to several endangered flora and fauna including the national bird, the Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi).
The Philippines’s other five UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the following:
- Baroque Churches of the Philippines
- Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
- Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras
- Historic Town of Vigan
- Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
These images were taken May 2004 when I traveled to Gov. Generoso in Davao Oriental.