The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) governing the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) passed Resolution No. 97 on August 6, 2019 endorsing the SINP Protected Area to the Tentative List of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
This resolution from the PAMB is sought for to give weight to the nomination, considering the authority of the body chaired by DENR Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo to decide on matters relative to proposals, action plans and guidelines for the management of the PA.
Said resolution underscored SINP’s rich and diverse ecosystems as well as its unfragmented traits of lowland rainforest and contiguous karst formation as unique characteristics which make it eligible for the nomination.
Also, reports from the DENR state that the Samar Island Natural Park hosts 38 species of mammals, 51 species of reptiles, over 1,000 species of plants, and 215 species of birds, including the critically endangered Philippine Eagle.
With this rich biodiversity, the resolution reflects optimism that the SINP will meet the criteria of UNESCO for selecting World Heritage Sites in terms of its cultural, historical, scientific and other forms of significance.
The resolution likewise states that the inclusion of the SINP to the UNESCO World Heritage List will give prestige and honor to the Samar Island Provinces as well as strengthen the commitment of the country in improving the conservation and maintenance efforts within the site.
The series of initiatives towards the inclusion of SINP to the UNESCO list started from a proposal of then Western Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan in 2018, supported by the governors of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.
The Samar Island Natural Park was established by virtue of Presidential proclamation No. 442 on August 13, 2003 pursuant to Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Area System Act as amended by RA 11038 or the E-NIPAS Act of 2018. This Protected Area covers an area of 335,105.07 hectares within the boundaries of 35 municipalities, 3 cities and 3 provinces of Samar.