Committee decisions so far have included 38 COM 7B.70, and 39 COM 7B.16. More Contacts Site Map Become a member Donate Now! In response to serious issues with land claims and illegal land sales and development, a new cadastral survey was initiated, and a Survey and Registration of Protected Area Occupants (SRPAO) was conducted in April 2014 (SOC, 2014; IUCN, 2015, SOC 2015). There are also economic benefits in terms of job creation and tourism with the included marine area also potentially aiding in local fisheries. The topography varies from flat plains to rolling hinterlands and hills to mountain peaks. On the contrary, the ground demarcation of the boundary as defined by the Presidential Proclamation 212 of 16 November 1999, which is also the reference for the boundaries of the inscribed property, even resulted in a comparative increase of the area; Human activities in the multiple use zone, the controlled use zone, and in areas inhabited by indigenous communities are closely monitored by park authorities. The land form in the park are associated with rocky mountains ( of marble and limestone) running from north to south. The new park administration, which took up office in 2013, has been implementing a number of measures to combat illegal hunting and wildlife trade (SOC, 2014; SOC, 2015). While the issues of education and interpretation of the site are addressed in the management plan there is no indication that any of the proposed actions have been implemented. To access the most up-to-date Conservation Outlook Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit. The current condition of the ‘outstanding natural phenomena’ including the underground river and the karst landscape, remains excellent and overall the trend for a number of the values remains stable despite the threats faced by the site, specifically those from increasing visitation. The previous management plan as well as other relevant documents submitted to the World Heritage Committee, notes that in the face of increasing visitor numbers more staff training in Park planning and management is required to ensure effective management of the property. Related to these changes are the ongoing issues with land claims and illegal land sales and development. * : The City Mayor has full responsibility over the property and all management decisions are made by the Mayor in consultation with the Protected Areas Management Board (PAMB). Its accessibility and navigability up to 4.5km inland allows it to be experienced by the general public on a river cruise unequalled by similar experiences elsewhere in the world (SoOUV, 2012). On 30 January 2014, the World Heritage Centre requested further information from the State Party on these issues. In 1999 the identified threats to the property’s biodiversity included immigration, unregulated building, tourism development, piecemeal forest clearance for agriculture and other uses, erosion and consequent siltation, and pollution from various sources including agro-chemicals and sewage. 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. Puerto Princesa Management Plan. The property is home to 165 bird species, including a number of rare and threatened endemic species such as the Philippine cockatoo Cacatua haemeturopygia, White bellied sea eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster, Gray imperial pigeon Ducula piceringii and the Blue-naped parrot Tangynathis lucionensis (IUCN, 2015). The river is also called Puerto Princesa Underground River.The national park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of the island. Palawan is covered by an Integrated Conservation and Development Plan, which includes a Forestry Protection Programme, however, there is currently insufficient data available to comment on the effectiveness of this plan, its regional integration and the position of the property within this system. Report on the IUCN Reactive Monitoring Mission to Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Philippines),... Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2014 The World Heritage Centre and IUCN received information from a concerned party regarding a number of threats to the property. In order to support a comprehensive resolution of these different issues, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to invite an IUCN reactive monitoring mission to the property, to assess its state of conservation, clarify the boundaries of the property and buffer zone, and consider the measures needed to ensure any impacts from the above-mentioned issues and threats are avoided. Land conversion for agricultural expansion may cause an increasing rate of forest and habitat loss, impacting on the biodiversity values while also affecting the spectacular landscape for which the site is known. 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). The management plan for the property is being reviewed during 2014; When the new park administration took up office, there were serious issues with land claims and sales in the property. No boundary modification has occurred. Efforts appear to be ongoing in regards to a survey of all residents. The number of visitors and tourism levels continues to increase for the property and with high numbers of visitors many of the services to support them are provided by local communities both within the property and through tourism related activities adjacent to the area. Puerto Princesa Statement of Outstanding Universal Value. Assessing and indeed effectively addressing the threats to the World Heritage property is difficult as the management plan is yet to be updated including the recommended zoning of the property and this creates confusion as to what exactly constitutes the World Heritage property, which is key for protecting water quality and quantity and ensuring the long-term viability of the Outstanding Universal Value of the site. Despite the focus of management on tourism, the ever-growing numbers of visitors to the site and the resulting infrastructure to accommodate them remain key management challenges. It includes a full mountain-to-sea ecosystem, protecting the most significant forest area within the Palawan Biogeographic Province and is home to a number of endemic species. Subsequently this means management effectiveness remains an issue for the site. The property itself is home to a number of permanent residents and land use varies across the property dependant on land tenure. The Palawan Peacock Pheasant has also been recorded in this site and is recognized as an internationally threatened species (IUCN, 1999). Tourism management was deficient; however the situation has much improved since the new park administration took up office in July 2013. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located 81 km to the north from Puerto Princesa city, near the town of Sabang, on the west coast of Palawan island.Because of its unique “mountain-to-sea” ecosystem his wonderful place has been voted as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world in 1999. Agricultural expansion is already occurring at the edge of the site, which effectively adds a buffer area to the property. © UNESCO World Heritage Centre 1992-2020 The site provides an outstanding opportunity for education and awareness for local, national and international communities in terms of its biodiversity as well as the underground river and karst landscape. 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.