03.03.2016 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

Outcomes from the Workshop and Public Meeting on Sustainable Tourism at the World Heritage Site of “The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras” in the Philippines

22-24 February 2016


The workshop and public meeting held from 22-24 February 2016 in Solano, Nueva Vizcaya Province, were successfully completed in good partnership among UNESCO Jakarta, the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Ifugao, and the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO.

The first and the second day of the workshop brought forward refined strategic objectives, as well as outcomes and actions based on each objective. These were harmonized to ensure that every aspect of the World Heritage and sustainable tourism, i.e. the World Heritage values (OUV), tourism experience, infrastructure, policies, institutional partnership, and economic benefit from tourism, were captured with appropriate outcomes and actions. 

The participants also strategized the way forward after the end of the workshop and agreed to:

  1. Call for the adoption of the harmonized strategic objectives and actions that complements existing local plans, as a contribution to the development of a Tourism Master Plan for Ifugao;
  2. Call for the development of Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) procedures (ref. WH SOC 2014) and carrying capacity studies, that together with the Provincial Ordinance (2010-023) ‘The Environmental Code of the Province of Ifugao’ which includes the guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as well as Infrastructure Development Guidelines (2009) should guide all future tourism related infrastructure developments, and that outcomes are made publicly available and decisions made through public consultations;
  3. Encourage the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Ifugao to spearhead the sustainable management of the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras in collaboration with international organisations and national, regional, and local government agencies;
  4. Institutionalise the Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office (ICHO) and the Tourism offices and activate Ifugao Provincial Tourism Cultural Council, as provided in the Provincial Ordinance no. 2013-021, also known as the Ifugao Tourism Code.

Supported by the Malaysia Funds-in-Trust through the Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP), the PLGU Ifugao proceeded to lead a public meeting on the third day of the workshop on 24 February 2016. The public meeting was attended by 50 people from government officials to representatives from local communities and associations. The third day witnessed PLGU Ifugao presenting the results of the workshops since the inception in May 2015 to the last day of the preceding workshop as well as the future plan for both the Ifugao Province and the Rice Terraces and receiving inputs and feedbacks from the audience. This event resulted in a mandate for the provincial government and a commitment by the stakeholders to support the implementation of the plan.

In his closing remarks, Hon. Denis B. Habawel, the Governor of the Ifugao Province, thanked the Philippines National Commission for UNESCO and also UNESCO Office Jakarta for the assistance and the partnership that was strengthened with the collaboration of work through this project. “We value the fact that we were recognized by UNESCO into the list of World Heritage site, it is an acknowledgment of Ifugao culture to humanity. The Rice Terraces is something that Ifugao people should be proud of. More than just protecting and conserving, we now see how we can use our heritage to improve our lives.”


Guide Map:  Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras ENG FIL

Related links:

UNESCO Supports Sustainable Tourism at the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras - a World Heritage Site

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