Photo Credit: Global Geoparks Network

The Bohol Island Aspiring Geopark is on a good track towards becoming the Philippines’ first UNESCO Global Geopark after the Global Geoparks Network Council proposed to forward its nomination to the UNESCO Executive Board, for their endorsement in the second quarter of 2023.

The deliberation of the Council members took place in Satun UNESCO Global Geopark in Thailand on 04-05 September 2022 in the presence of more than 73 observers and representatives of more than 20 Member States joining either face-to-face or via Zoom.

In retrospect, Kristin Rangnes and Alessia Amorfini, two evaluators assigned by the Global Geoparks Bureau came to Bohol in July 2019 for a field mission to assess the readiness of Bohol to become a UNESCO Global Geopark following its submission of a comprehensive application dossier to UNESCO in 2018.

However, the UGGN Council decided to defer Bohol’s application for a maximum of two years after examining the application documents and related evaluation reports. The decision was later endorsed by the UNESCO Executive Board in 2020 encouraging the aspiring Geopark to improve some of its functions and operations.

Some of the recommendations highlighted were a clear map of the geopark including its maritime parts, evidence of visibility implementation, improvement in management structure and process, and active engagement of indigenous people and local communities, among others.

The geopark team submitted a progress report to UNESCO on 07 July 2022 containing all the activities and documents needed to comply with the Council’s recommendations. This report was carefully reviewed and discussed during the most recent GGN Council meeting that resulted in a favorable decision for Bohol. The report is available in the publication section.

The island province of Bohol has been the first and yet the only aspiring geopark from the Philippines to formally apply for this UNESCO designation since 2019 through the initiatives of volunteer technical advisers from the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning and the University of Hamburg in Germany.

Click the link for the official media release from UNESCO: