Press Release
June 25, 2014

Legarda Hails Declaration of Mt. Hamiguitan Range
Wildlife Sanctuary as UNESCO Heritage Site

Senator Loren Legarda today hailed the inscription of Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in the UNESCO World Heritage List and renewed her call for greater protection of the country's natural and cultural heritage.

"I am happy that we have our new UNESCO World Heritage Site. I commend the agencies, local government units and communities for working hard to preserve and protect the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary," said Legarda.

"This triumph should also remind us of our role as stewards of our natural resources and cultural heritage. Every citizen should be aware of our collective responsibility to protect our heritage not only for the sake of recognition or inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List, but more importantly as part of our sustainable development goals," she added.

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is officially the 6th World Heritage Site in the Philippines. Other UNESCO Heritage Sites in the country are Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Baroque Churches of the Philippines, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and the Historic City of Vigan.

The official description of the site states that "the property showcases terrestrial and aquatic habitats at different elevations, and includes threatened and endemic flora and fauna species, eight of which are found only at Mount Hamiguitan."

Legarda said that the declaration of Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary as a World Heritage Site further highlights the need to safeguard the biodiversity in the area.

"This wildlife sanctuary and many other naturally abundant areas make the Philippines a mega diverse country, but it is also one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots, with a large number of species either endangered or threatened of extinction. Thus the need for collaborative efforts among government agencies, local government units and citizens to conserve our heritage and if possible, rehabilitate the natural resources that have been damaged by our irresponsible acts," Legarda concluded.

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