29 Nov puerto princesa subterranean river national park threats
Tourism management is being included in the revised Management Plan, which was to be completed by December 2014 but appears to be ongoing in terms of being finalised. IUCN, (2015). 212, s. 1999 declared the National Park under the National Integrated Protected Area System Act of 1992 (NIPAS) to encompass the catchment area and maintain long-term conservation of the site. Management of these growing levels of visitation has resulted in some improvements but the proposed development of a new wharf and the lack of a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment along with the yet to be finalised updated management plan, including a detailed tourism plan, means the potential for direct and indirect impacts form the growing number of tourists remains a key concern for the site. While there has been a clear and significant improvement in management of the property since Committee Decision 38 COM 7B.70, a lack of resources and an all be it necessary focus on management of tourists takes up the majority of the available but limited resources, rather than overall property management. Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit. Strtgy, 2009). The legal owner of the property is the City Government of Puerto Princesa. Overview of the site's Conservation Outlook, The complete Conservation Outlook Assessment for this site, with more details on values, threats, protection and management, The source of information for the Conservation Outlook Assessment, Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site, Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values, © PPRamsar (2012). While significant progress has been made regarding a number of previously identified threats, a limited amount of data from monitoring in regards to specific species and biodiversity of the property is available and this makes it difficult to measure the impacts on the biodiversity values for which the property was inscribed. Switzerland: IUCN. However threats from land use change and developments have the potential to impact on the landscape, particularly through deforestation and the removal of limestone in areas adjacent to the boundaries. Committee decisions so far have included 38 COM 7B.70, and 39 COM 7B.16. A new park administration took up office in 2013 and a new management plan is being developed for the property (SOC report, 2014; IUCN, 2015). 165 bird species have been recorded in the site, including a number of rare and threatened endemic bird species including the Philippine cockatoo Cacatua haemeturopygia. The dramatic increase in visitation since the declaration of the site as one of the “7 New Wonders of Nature” is already noticeable and current management efforts might not be sufficient to mitigate the negative impacts of ever increasing visitation. The tourism management system in place for the property at the time of its inscription and subsequent declaration as one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” did not have the capacity to accommodate the increasing influx of tourists resulting from these declarations and in particular the latter. The exception to this is the newly established regular monitoring of the bat species inhabiting the cave system. Some attractions, like trail hikes, will reopen by Sept. 18 but the river tour will stay closed until further notice. Puerto Princesa Ramsar Information Sheet. The land form in the park are associated with rocky mountains ( of marble and limestone) running from north to south. A number of on going and emerging issues threatening the property remain unresolved to date. Much of the property comprises sharp, karst limestone ridges. Boat tours within the underground river cave system are provided by local community members and many of the jobs associated with the site provide employment opportunities. The site and its surroundings are the ancestral lands of Batak and Tagbanua peoples (Mallari et al., 2013). Local communities, both within the boundaries of the property and in surrounding areas are being increasingly involved in the protection of the property through outreach programmes that raise awareness of the threats to and values of the property. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is an 8.2km long underground river. Much of the property comprises sharp, karst limestone ridges, which are unlikely to be diminished by visitation. The benefits from the PPSRNP are largely in the conservation value of the ecosystem, including the extensive cave system and the unique biodiversity it contains. Subsequently this means management effectiveness remains an issue for the site. The dramatic increase in visitation since the site was declared one of the “7 New Wonders of Nature” has increased the impact on and threat to the property and its values from increased tourism numbers. SOC, (2014). Philippines Legal Framework for Protected Areas 2010 (Legal Framework, 2010), Puerto Princesa Nomination File 1999 (PPNom’n File, 1999). These communities were present prior to the designation of the National Park and World Heritage Property with numerous Ancestral Domain Claims covering areas of the property. The site appears to have adequate legal protection in place. The lack of training and development is further complicated by the contractual nature of staff appointments with no permanent positions and all staff on short term contracts. The spectacular cave system of the site and the natural phenomena of the interface between the sea and the underground river are well preserved although experiencing increasing impacts from the increase in visitors and tourism developments. Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. Initial attempts to address the situation through a land titling process resulted in even more land claims, threatening the forests of the property. The protection and effective management of the property is hampered by a complex legal framework and some confusion as to what is actually the World Heritage property, and the donation of land areas within its boundaries to accommodate the residents. The Park is fully self-sustaining at current income and staffing levels but this is far from certain with funding directly related to tourism numbers. These decisions have both been in relation to issues of concern raised in regards to current threats to the property, namely issues around tourism, boundaries and occupants within the site.
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