Friday, November 16, 2012

Celebrating 40 years of UNESCO World Heritage!

Batad Rice Terraces
On November 16, 1972, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Today, we celebrate the 40th year of World Heritage! For the next few days, I will be featuring UNESCO World Heritage Sites that I have visited. To date, I've been to over a hundred UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 32 countries. Experiencing them first hand were always memorable trips for me.

The Philippines has five inscriptions. These are the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras (Bangaan, Batad, Hungduan, Mayoyao and Nagacadan), Historic Town of Vigan, Baroque Churches of the Philippines (Paoay, Santa Maria, San Agustin and Miag-ao), the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.

Bangaan Rice Terraces
Hungduan Rice Terraces (Hapao and Baang)
Mayoyao Rice Terraces
Nagacadan Rice Terraces
It is the responsibility of each state party to safeguard UNESCO World Heritage Sites in its jurisdiction. While the Philippines has had its share of bad experiences such as the influx of tourists to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River and the violations currently being committed by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte in the core and buffer zones of Paoay Church, this year has been a proud year for the Philippines as it was recognized by UNESCO for its management of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras which was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, and the Historic Town of Vigan which was recognized as a model of best practices in World Heritage site management.

Historic Town of Vigan
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Paoay Church
Santa Maria Church
Miag-ao Church
To learn more about the criteria for innscription to the UNESCO World Heritage List, read Nominating properties to the UNESCO World Heritage List.




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