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Davao City Council declares Mt. Apo a GeoPark

By Nova Mae Francas

MT. APO Natural Park, the highest peak in the country, was declared a geopark through City Ordinance approved by lawmakers on April 2.

The 20th City Council approved on the third and final reading the ordinance entitled “Mt. Apo Geopark of 2024.” 

Under Section 4 of the ordinance, DENR-Davao is the primary agency to manage the MT. Apo Geopark in coordination with the city government and concerned organizations.

The city government, with other stakeholders, will jointly prepare and implement a geo-conservation plan and set standards to protect and conserve the park’s biological and geological features.

As stated in the ordinance, the plan will be composed of management objectives, key issues, and site management strategies including but not limited to habitat protection, rehabilitation, community organizing ecotourism, and the like.

The plan shall harmonize with the city’s forest land use plan, comprehensive land use plan, comprehensive development plan, and zoning.

Meanwhile, collecting and utilizing resources from the geopark shall be according to R.A 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 2018.

Councilor Temujin “Tek” Ocampo, Committee on Environment and Natural Resources chair manifested in the resolution enacting the ordinance that, to heighten the protection and development of MANP as the country’s geological landmark, “it is of utmost importance that this protected area further legally protected and conserved to the greatest extent possible.”

Ocampo said the measure is a step toward including Mt. Apo in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage list, UNESCO Global Geopark.

Bagani Fidel Evasco, DENR XI former regional director, who proposed the enactment of ordinance, said in a letter to the city council dated June 9, 2023, that the declaration of Mt. Apo as a geopark “would provide a valuable educational resource for geologists, students, and the public and would offer a unique opportunity to learn about the mountain’s geological history, the processes that formed it, and the valuable resources it holds.” 

Lemuel Lloyd Manalo, Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability program coordinator who backed the proposal, said the recognition will access benefits such as funding which may be used to promote the conservation effort of MANP in the city’s jurisdiction.



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