ASEAN hails Mt. Hamiguitan as Heritage Park, stricter rules implemented

Following the declaration of the Mt. Hamiguitan as one of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Heritage Parks, the local government of San Isidro, Davao Oriental implemented climbing policies to further conserve its natural bounty.

San Isidro Mayor Justina Yu said they regulated the number of climbers and they can only climb on schedule.

“Once it is open, we will regulate the trekkers who will go up. We will not permit 100 trekkers. It is only up to 20,” she said.

She also said climbers shall use only one trail to the peak.

“We only have one trail because if you provide them with different trails, you will imagine how many plants will be stepped on. This would be the only open trail after we educate all the stakeholders,” said Yu.

Climbers should also be members of a recognized or registered organization and passed the requirements of the Department of Tourism (DOT) before they can be allowed to ascend.

Bringing of cigarettes, lighter and other things that may cause fire are strictly prohibited and climbers can only bring canned goods or ready-to-eat food.

Trekkers should bring their garbages with them when they come down to maintain the cleanliness of the mountain.

On Friday, the ASEAN acknowledges Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (MHRWS) as having a biodiversity importance or exceptional uniqueness from all member countries of ASEAN, thus declared as Heritage Park.

Along with the pronouncement, the provincial government of Davao Oriental opened a museum which exhibits the mountain’s flora and fauna.

MHRWS Project Area Superintendent Ruel Colong said the museum will enable tourists to experience the wilderness of Mt. Hamiguitan without necessarily trekking.

He said a replica of Mt. Hamiguitan can be seen at the Natural Science Museum.

Yu said the policies are in adherence to the rules and regulations of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and ASEAN.

Mt. Hamiguitan was also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List along with Kinabalu National Park of Malaysia, Lorentz National Park of Indonesia, and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park of the Philippines.

| Published in 105.9 Balita FM Facebook page: ASEAN hails Mt. Hamiguitan as Heritage Park, stricter rules implemented, April 18, 2016

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