Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Monday, March 21, 2016

Albay declared 3rd UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Phl

By Sally A. Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Mar 21 (PIA) – The province of Albay has been included by the UN specialized agency, UNESCO, in its network of protected biosphere nature reserves worldwide.

In the Philippines, Albay joins Puerto Galera and Palawan, declared 1977 and 1990 respectively. Other 19 new sites made it to the network summing up 669 protected biosphere reserves across 120 countries.

Albay governor Joey Salceda said it is an honor for the province to be approved as a new UNESCO Biosphere Reserve noting that the province welcomes it as an ecological marker of excellence and as a challenge to the community.

“We consider it as our country's modest contribution to the intergenerational transfer of resources to the future of the Philippines and the future of everyone,” Salceda said.

The province of Albay is known for variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and a home to a multitude of biodiversity, including five species of endangered sea turtles with the perfect Mount Mayon as an enduring symbol of national pride and heritage.

Salceda stressed that for centuries up to the present, local communities live in harmony with nature treating it with a deep sense of respect and responsibility and has made sustainable development as a way of life particularly in terms of sustainable fishing, agriculture, and tourism.

“We in Albay are deeply committed, nationally and internationally, to climate change mitigation and adaptation. For these reasons, we believe we can contribute greatly to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and the robust implementation of the recently adopted Lima Declaration and Action Plan,” he said.

The governor also cited his role as the former co-chair of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in helping introduce cultural heritage as fundable activity for adaptation and biosphere for GHG emission further disclosing US$10.4bn raised fund which can be mobilized for sites in developing countries determined by UNESCO.

The province of Albay has likewise addressed issues raised by the UNESCO International Advisory Committee (IAC) and has responded by the deadline set.

These include the increased terrestrial buffer zone from 35,000 hectares to over 62,000hectares, inclusion of over 68,000 hectares as a marine buffer zone and over 65,000 hectares as a marine transition zone in the revised zonation and strengthened measures to protect endangered turtle spawning sites across Albay.

Salceda further lauded UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere – International Coordinating Council (MAB-ICC) for the endorsement which will serve as inspiration for the local government and community to work together and achieve sustainable development.

“We deeply thank the MAB-ICC for this endorsement. It means very much to the people and local government of Albay as this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve will inspire our local government and our community in our journey based on shared value, on shared goals and shared impacts for a transformation into a low emission inclusive and empowering, resilient and sustainable development,” Salceda said.

The UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) covers internationally designated protected areas, each known as biosphere reserves that are meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature.

Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.(MAL/SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571458550761/albay-declared-3rd-unesco-biosphere-reserve-in-the-phl#sthash.pJzHzvfw.dpuf

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