Apayao Governor Elias Bulut Jr. in a press conference in Baguio on January 16 said they are hoping to get the title as the fourth United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biodiversity and Protected Area in the country to further to protect the Philippine eagles in the province. (Photo courtesy of Redjie Melvic Cawis/ PIA-CAR)
BAGUIO CITY -- The province of Apayao is hoping to be declared as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biodiversity and Protected Area soon to further protect the Philippine eagles thriving in the province, Governor Elias Bulut Jr. said on Wednesday.
“We are in the legwork for the inscription of the province of Apayao as the fourth UNESCO biosphere reserve of the Philippines,” Bulut said during the Kapihan sa Baguio press forum.
UNESCO has declared Puerto Galera (1977), Palawan (1990) and Albay (2016) as biosphere reserves.
Bulut said pending the UNESCO declaration they have already started the preservation of the natural resources in their province which focuses on wildlife protection.
The governor said the move is to ensure that the virgin forests will remain preserved and protected to allow the eagle sanctuary to thrive in Apayao and the Philippine eagle population to multiply.
In April 2015, a mesh which contained a one-month old chick, was discovered by the Philippine Eagle Foundation in Calanasan town, Apayao.
Bulut said the eagles of Apayao thrive in the virgin forests of Calanasan and Kabugao towns, which has an existing boundary dispute with Abra province.
The governor said he asked Abra Governor Joy Bernos to help preserve the areas in Abra which are connected to Calanasan and Kabugao towns of Apayao so that the efforts of Apayao to secure the Philippine eagle will not be wasted.
“It is part of the virgin forest and we hope that Abra will also come up with programs to preserve the area,” Bulut said.
The provincial government of Apayao is also working with Philippine Eagle Foundation based in Davao and the United States Foreign Service (USFS) in deploying scientists for researches in forest reserved areas.
"We were told by the scientists that it might take five years to perfect the study and to document their research because they have to provide scientific names to the possible species that they will be able to find in the virgin forests of the province," Bulut said.
Bulut said ''biosphere reserves" are sites destined to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity and human activity through the sustainable use of natural resources.
"One of the objectives is to give rise to innovative sustainable development practices. New reserves are designated every year by the International Coordinating Council for the program, a body with a rotating elected membership of 34 UNESCO member states," he said.
Established by UNESCO in the early 1970s, the Man and the Biosphere Program is an intergovernmental scientific project that aims to improve relations between people and their natural environment. (PNA)