Batanes Advisory Mission

A joint advisory mission composed of a representative each from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) arrived in Manila in early December 2014 to advise the Philippines on how best to move forward the nomination of Batanes to the World Heritage List. The mission was made possible through a World Heritage Centre initiative, known as the Upstream Nomination Process.

PH NatCom with the support of the National Museum (Deputy Director Ana Labrador, and staff, Marivine Santos, Johnrey Callado and Erika Robis) and the Local Documentation Committee of the Batanes Provincial Government arranged and coordinated the Mission.

The Mission visited Batanes from December 11 to 19, visiting the province’s cultural sites (e.g., the Nakamaya Archeological Site, Savidug Idjang and Racuaydi Archaeological Site); and natural sites (e.g., the Basco Ivana Marine Sanctuary, Mount Iraya and Duvek Bay). The visits were meant to help the Mission assess the Outstanding Universal Value of Batanes’ Landscapes and Seascapes, as well as the current and alternative management structures for its designated heritage sites. Prof. Ian Ashley of ICOMOS and Mr. Bruce Jefferies of IUCN also met with key/relevant offices of the Batanes Provincial Government and its municipal government units in addition to other national agencies Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) and  Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of DENR.

One of the Columnar Stones of Savidug Idjang, Sabtang Island

Mission Team having an Ivatan Lunch Meal at Sitio Diura, Mahatao

Local fishermen of Batanes discusses with IUCN Expert Bruce Jefferies (Rightmost) and ICOMOS Expert Ian Lilley (Leftmost) on the fishing traditions and ways of the community.