Bohol underscored its commitment to geodiversity by taking part in the celebration by highlighting the importance of conservation through inclusivity.

The celebration, held at the Bohol Bee Farm in Abatan, Cortes on Oct. 6, was hosted by the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO (UNACOM) and the provincial government.

“This is a reminder that nature’s gifts are meant for everyone’s enjoyment. Each individual has the right to benefit from nature’s endowements and the opportunity to contribute to the promotion and the sustainable management of geoparks, such as our beloved island,” said Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite during his welcome message at the event, representing Gov. Aris Aumentado.

Bohol, as the first UNESCO Global Geopark in the Philippines, joined in on the 2nd International Geodiversity Day (IDG), celebrating the province’s rich geoheritage and bringing awareness to its conservation.

This year’s theme, “Geodiversity is for everyone,” highlights the importance of widening the approach of geological conservation through inclusivity, especially in increasing participation from women and other historically marginalized sectors.

With this event, UNESCO underscores the importance of geological diversity, with abiotic manifestations such as minerals, soils, fossils, or landforms affecting many facets of people’s daily lives, from the biological environment, culture, economy, and technology.

Dr. Ivan Henares, UNACOM secretary-general, discussed geodiversity and the history of IDG and its conceptualization.

He focused on the need to celebrate this event to raise awareness on protecting landscapes of geological significance from harmful human activities and empower communities to contribute to its sustainable management through geoconservation.

“Like biodiversity, many important geoheritage sites and features are at risk from human activities, and yet attempts at geoconservation are limited. International cooperation and a joint effort of the global community is therefore essential to ensure proper recognition and management of earth’s geodiversity and geoheritage,” Henares said.

He revealed that the IDG is significant in reaching global agendas, such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Paris Climate Accords or the International Treaty on Climate Change.

Also present were Rep. Edgar Chatto, Maribojoc Mayor Romulo Manuta, Loon Mayor Elvi Peter Relampagos, Dr. Mario Delos Reyes, president and CEO of the Centre for Neighbourhood Studies; lawyer Lucas Nunag, Bohol Provincial Tourism Council chair; national government agencies representatives, municipal tourism officers, department heads and employees, women’s associations, and academic institutions, who gave their support and commitment to helping Bohol maintain its designation as a Global Geopark.

In the afternoon, participants went on a tour to the Maribojoc and Loon uplifted marine terraces, our Lady of Light Parish, and the Tubigon loom weaving. (PIMO/GMC)