ASEAN welcomes Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park as 53rd Heritage Park
Marker of the MIRNP-ASEAN Heritage Park was officially unveiled
LANAO DEL NORTE, PH—The Philippines officially launches Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park (MIRNP) as the 53rd ASEAN Heritage Park (AHP) and the 11th AHP in the Philippines during the 64th Araw ng Lanao del Norte celebration held on 28 June.
MIRNP, situated in the lush green forests of the province of Lanao del Norte, is known as the “last forest bastion” in the province, being the only primary remaining and largest rainforest dominated by dipterocarp species and containing a high diversity of flora and fauna. The park is likewise considered as the primary water source by surrounding and nearby communities and municipalities.
MIRNP is home to the indigenous people of Maranao (“People of the Lake”)
“Mt. Inayawan’s forests and biodiversity are still intact; hence it is now an AHP. This will give the Maranao people an increased sense of deep pride and responsibility to further protect and preserve it,” said Ismail C. Ambola, incumbent MIRNP Park Superintendent.
Some of the endemic species found in MIRNP are the endangered Pinsker’s hawk eagle (Nisaetus pinskeri), the critically endangered Philippine eagle, the vulnerable tree species Magkono (Xanthostemon verdugonianus), and the Philippine Flying lemur (Cynocephalus volans).
Dutiful environmental stewardship
“We commend the support of all stakeholders, particularly the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte and the local government of Nunungan in the participatory governance of the Park contributing to its sustainable protected area management,” said Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos, Senior Director of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, secretariat of the AHP Programme.
“The distinction of Mt. Inayawan Range Natural Park as an ASEAN Heritage Park is a great honor,” said Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Dimaporo “Together, let us stand as guardians of nature, protectors of our heritage, and advocates for a greener and healthier planet,” she added.
Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo (centre) and Municipality of Nunungan Mayor Marcos Mamay (2nd from left) received the certificate of recognition from the AHP Committee.
Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, executive director of the ACB, lauded and welcomed MIRNP to the ever-growing AHP network. She expressed the ACB’s readiness to support the park’s conservation efforts and to help ensure the effective and efficient management of this new AHP.
Since its establishment in 1984, the AHP Programme has declared 55 protected areas as part of the AHP network. These heritage sites are biologically rich parks and nature reserves that serve as models of effective protected area management and conservation.
To learn more about the AHPs, log on to www.aseanbiodiversity.org.