In connection with the declaration of Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR) as the 33rd ASEAN Heritage Park (AHP), the management plan for MMFR in the context of AHP is being updated with support from GIZ. Part of the activities that the MCME Technical Working Group (TWG) has undertaken is a visit to one AHP in the country.
The team visited Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park (MIBNP) on 19-22 February 2015. This way, MCME aims to gain more knowledge in park management and learn from MIBNP’s experiences in managing an ASEAN Heritage Park.
MIBNP is one of the seven (7) AHPs in the Philippines. It was declared as AHP mainly because it’s the only place in the world where one can find the biggest remaining population of the tamarraw (Bubalus mindorensis). Moreover, its population is declining thus, the need to conserve, preserve and monitor its population.
The site visit included an interview with the park manager and staff and a 2-day-1-night hike to the summit. The group was able to see 15 tamaraws, a rare feat indeed. The hike became a memorable one for the whole team because Ms. Eulalia Alcasid, at the age of 63, is recorded as the oldest Filipino woman to reach the peak.
by Mae Belen C. Llanza