The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau and DENR Region 10 organized the 2nd National ASEAN Heritage Park (AHP) Conference and the launching of the Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park (MMRNP) as the newest designated ASEAN Heritage Park in the Philippines on 04-05 August 2012 at the Town Center, Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental.
The City Government of Oroquieta and the Provincial Government of Misamis Occidental co-hosted the event with 130 participants in attendance comprising of members of the MMRNP Management Board; representatives from the other three (3) AHP sites in the Philippines, namely: Mt. Apo NP, Mt. Kitanglad Range NP, and Mts. Iglit-Baco NP; national and local media practitioners; and DENR Regional Officials and staff. The launching of Mt. Malindang as AHP was honored by the presence of Atty. Monalisa Barro, representative from the Office of the Senator Pia S. Cayetano, Governor Herminia M. Ramiro of Misamis Occidental, DENR Assistant Secretary for Lands, Atty. Roberto Oliva, and Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection, Secretary Nereus O. Acosta. On behalf of the MMRNP Management Board, Gov. Ramiro and DENR Regional Executive Director Corazon Galinato received the Plaque of Recognition for the designation of MMRNP as AHP from the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity led by Dr. Monina Uriarte.
The National Conference served as a venue for sharing activities, lessons learned and best practices in the management of the four ASEAN Heritage Parks in the Philippines. In particular, it aimed to generate greater awareness and better appreciation of the ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme among the members of the Management Boards of Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park, Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park and the Mt. Apo Natural Park; to promote common understanding among PAMB members and other relevant stakeholders of their roles and responsibilities over the management of the AHP; to engage media practitioners in efforts to educate the public about biodiversity conservation; and to enhance the profile and institutional image of ACB as the ASEAN’s Center of Excellence for biodiversity conservation.
The Conference was a two-day event. Day 1 highlighted the launching of MMRNP as the 29th AHP in the ASEAN Region. This was immediately followed by a press conference participated by Gov. Ramiro, RED Galinato of DENR Region 10, Atty. Barro, PAWB Asst. Dir. Nelson Devanadera, Asst. Sec. Roberto Oliva, and Sec. Nereus Acosta. Part of the Day 1 event was the presentations by the Protected Area Superintendents of their accomplishments in managing their respective AHPs and action planning workshop. The action plans prepared during the 1st AHP Conference in 2010 in Bukidnon were revisited for updating. Parallel to the action planning workshop, an En-Banc Meeting of the MMRNP Management Board was also convened. The 2nd National Conference was formally closed by Asst Dir. Nelson P. Devanadera of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.
On Day 2, a ground breaking ceremony for the proposed ecotourism site and visitor center of the MMRNP was held in Barangay Hoyohoy, Tangub City led by its Mayor, Hon. Philip Tan. This was followed by tree planting inside the MMRNP together with selected participants and media.
As a concluding event, Philippine Eagle Expedition was launched at the Hoyohoy Highland Hotel and Resort also in Tangub City through the initiative of Cong. Loreto Leo Ocampos of the 2nd District of Misamis Occidental.