PH NatCom supports bid of Bohol Island as the pioneer Geopark in the Philippines

PH NatCom supports bid of Bohol Island as the pioneer Geopark in the Philippines

In 2004, the Global Geoparks Network (GGN), was formed. GGN promotes national geological heritage initiatives that contribute to and benefit from membership of a global network of exchange and cooperation.

On 17 November 2015, the 195 Member States of UNESCO ratified the creation of a new label: the UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGG). UGG seeks to express governmental recognition of the importance of managing outstanding geological sites and landscapes in a holistic manner.

In 2019, among the 14 contenders for the UNESCO Global Geoparks is Bohol Island. Citizens of Bohol Island pro-actively worked on the nomination dossier together with its partners; University of the Philippines-School of Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Science and Technology, Philippine Institute of Volcanology (PHIVOLCS) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Philippine National Commission for UNESCO (PH NatCom), otherwise known as UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM) has always been at the forefront of encouraging, supporting, and empowering bodies and government units that push nomination of potential sites. Thus, PH NatCom fully supports the efforts of Bohol Island and is actively involved by providing technical inputs and advice regarding the dossier and in facilitating meetings and site visits.

On 5 June 2019, a meeting was held at the House of Representatives, spearheaded by Bohol Governor Arthur Yap and PH NatCom Commissioner Usec Renato Solidum Jr, to prepare for the UNESCO Global Geopark Evaluation. The meeting, which was attended by representatives from Bohol Provincial Government, University of the Philippines (UP) – School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP), UP-National Institute of Geological Sciences, and the Department of Tourism (DOT), affirmed inter-agency commitment and support for the Bohol Island bid as UNESCO Global Geopark. From June 30 to July 4, 2019, UNESCO Global Geopark Evaluators, Kristin Rangnes and Alessia Amorfini – together with representatives of PH NatCom, DENR, DOST-PHIVOLCS, UP-SURP and other Technical Working Group representatives – visited some of the proposed geosites included for the Bohol Island Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark. This evaluation will be a crucial input to the 2019 deliberation of the UGG Council prior to the announcement of newly designated UNESCO Global Geoparks in the spring session of 2020.