MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed the visit this month of a representative from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) to evaluate the possible inclusion of Davao Oriental’s Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in the international body’s prestigious World Heritage Sites list.
DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez told the Inquirer an expert from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will do the evaluation. The Switzerland-based IUCN is an advisory body to the Unesco World Heritage Center.
But Hernandez said the Unesco representative will be visiting only Mt. Hamiguitan and none of the 28 other natural and manmade wonders in the country that have been nominated for the World Heritage Sites list. He said no other evaluations had been scheduled this year.
According to the Philippines’ nomination papers for Mt. Hamiguitan (https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5487/), the wildlife sanctuary is “the only protected forest noted for its unique bonsai field or pygmy forest of 100-year-old trees.”