The Philippine Rice Terraces have been formally removed from a United Nations list of “World Heritage in Danger” sites, the UN office in Manila confirmed yesterday.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said the Philippine campaign to protect the Rice Terraces scored a major victory on Tuesday as the 36th Session of the World Heritage Committee formally removed the site from the danger list.
“This decision is a historic moment for the Philippines,” said Ambassador Cristina Ortega, Philippine permanent delegate to UNESCO.
“To have the international community recognise our commitment and effort in reinstating the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras in the World Heritage List is, for us, a great honor and accomplishment. Its removal from the List of World Heritage in Danger reinforces its relevance as a globally important cultural landscape,” Ortega added.
The committee, composed of 21 state parties to the World Heritage Convention, decided that the Philippines had successfully met the Desired State of Conservation.
According to the international body, the Philippines achieved the restoration of at least 50 percent of the collapsed terraces, and the required documentation and rehabilitation of major irrigation systems in the site had been accomplished.
The committee also noted that policies and laws preserving the site were now in place.
Community-based land use and zoning plans are also being developed, and measures ensuring the site’s proper management and its protection from natural disasters had been implemented.