Philippines Designates Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park as Ramsar Site
15 October 2012: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention) has reported that the Government of the Philippines has designated Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park as its fifth Wetland of International Importance.
According to the Ramsar Secretariat, the site, which is already a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultral Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site and Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Biosphere Reserve, is located on the island of Palawan. It connects a range of important ecosystems from the mountain to the sea, and provides habitat to approximately 800 plant and 233 animal species, including some critically endangered animal species. The site features an 8.2 kilometer (km) long section of the Cabayugan River that flows underground within large formations of stalactites and stalagmites. Eco-tourism activities are carried out on the site.
The Philippines' designation contributes to one of the goals contained in the Ramsar Convention's Strategic Plan for 2009-2015, which is to reach a protected area of 250 million hectares by 2015. [Ramsar Press Release]