UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp) accreditation can create more opportunities for science to flourish in Bohol, Provincial Geologist Karl Michael Din says.
In a sit-down interview with the Provincial Information and Media Office, Din mentioned that as an aspiring geopark, Bohol desires to position itself as a place of interest for scientific research, such as geological studies, geological heritage research, natural science, and environmental management. For Din, acquiring the UNESCO accreditation could open the floodgates for scientific research opportunities for the province.
“If ever we get the UNESCO accreditation, this can be a way, a platform to attract more scientists and researchers to conduct more studies in Bohol,” Din said.
Din added that the accreditation could also lead to Boholanos gaining interest in science, which he deems a vital opportunity to gain more knowledge of how and why things work. He mentioned that the Bohol Island Geopark committee is doing a series of information education campaigns this year to instill scientific knowledge on Boholanos about the various geological sites found on the island. The committee said they want to make more Boholanos fall in love with geology and other scientific fields through the IECs.
“It’s part of our plan to enhance the educational aspect of geopark that’s why we’re doing a series of IECs for Boholanos on explaining what a geopark is, an overview of Bohol’s geology, and its importance to the province,” Din said.
Din expressed his optimism for UNESCO to recognize Bohol as a Global Geopark and for the accreditation to create a ripple effect for science to prosper among Boholanos. From an influx of scientific research to science influencing local policies and management, Din believes science has a place in Bohol’s development.
Bohol’s journey as a Geopark started in 2013 when a group of researchers from the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning, together with the University of Hamburg in Germany, conducted fieldwork on potential geoparks in the country and identified the province’s geological karst and limestone landforms as a prospect. In 2015, the researchers partnered with Bohol’s provincial government in conducting research, collaborations, and workshops in preparation for requirements for UNESCO accreditation. In 2022, Bohol became one of the nominated 18 (formerly 7) potentially new Global Geoparks for UNESCO to accredit for its geological significance and scientific importance. In May this year, Bohol will find out if they will be part of the UNESCO-accredited Global Geoparks, a first in the Philippines if given the accreditation.
by: Gavin Michael Cubillo/ The Provincial Information and Media Office