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2nd ASEAN Heritage Parks Conference Held; Mt. Malindang Cited

        The City of Oroquieta successfully hosted the 2nd ASEAN Heritage Parks Conference held at the Boardroom of the prestigious Oroquieta Town Center on August 4-5 . The event was organized by the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity with the generous support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), DENR Region 10 and the local government through the offices of the Provincial Governor Herminia M. Ramiro of Misamis Occidental and Oroquieta City Mayor Jason P. Almonte (JPA). The Secretary and Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Hon. Nereus O. Acosta who is a Mindanaon was the guest speaker who gave insights on the benefits of having a protected parks and wildlife area. Delegates composed of NGOs,Environmental advocates, Forest Rangers, DENR officers and staff attended the two day affair.

        The event featured the declaration of Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park as part of the 30 ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) four of which are in the Philippines. The others are Mt. Apo Natural Park, Mts. Iglit-Baco National Park and Mt. Kitanlad Range National Park. AHPs are defined as "Protected areas of high conservation importance, preserving in total a complete spectrum of representative ecosystems of the ASEAN region". These are established to generate greater awareness, pride and support for the conservation of ASEAN's rich natural heritage. The Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park is one of the few remaining rainforests in the Philippines today, hosting one of the most diverse species of rare and endemic wildlife, most especially the Philippine Eagle, the country's national bird. The Park's diverse and rich flora and fauna make it one of the last sanctuaries of the Philippines' natural heritage. (SIDLAK) gls. 8-6-2012

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