CEBU CITY – The island of Bohol has been declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the first and only global geopark in the Philippines.
UNESCO made the declaration during the 216th UNESCO Executive Board Session in Paris, France, on May 24, Gov. Aris Aumentado disclosed.
“This is a big honor for us to be declared as a global geopark in our country,” said Aumentado.
The UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education, and sustainable development.
The geopark has to be managed by a multidisciplinary project team through a holistic approach, focusing on education and environmental sustainability.
Bohol's journey to becoming a global geopark started in 2013 when a group of researchers from the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning conducted field works on potential geoparks in the country.
The researchers then identified Bohol’s geological karst and limestone landforms as a prospect.
In 2015, the researchers partnered with Bohol's provincial government by conducting research, collaborations, and workshops in preparation for the UNESCO designation guided by the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO.
Bohol became one of the 18 potentially new global geoparks nominated in 2022 for its geological significance and scientific importance.
“Me and the whole provincial government are thankful to UNESCO and especially to those who worked for the province to get this accolade,” Aumentado said.