Tubod, Lanao del Norte – The Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Center for Biodiversity Team led by Dr. Rogelio Andrada paid a courtesy visit to the province of Lanao del Norte and the officials of the province’s Protected Area Management Board (PAMB). With Vice Governor Maria Christina Atay and Mayor Marcos Mamay of the Municipality of Nunungan, the team met Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza Dimaporo and Congressman Abdullah Dimakuta Dimaporo, the 1st District Representative, through a virtual platform on December 13, 2021.
 
The visit is related to the pursuit of Congressman Dimaporo to make and include Mount Inayawan Range Natural Park as an ASEAN Heritage Park of the country. Mount Inayawan, the highest mountain in the province, is located in the heart of the Municipality of Nunungan.
 
ASEAN Heritage Parks (AHP) Programme is a flagship program that manages a regional network of representative protected areas to strengthen the efforts to conserve areas of particular biodiversity importance or exceptional uniqueness throughout ASEAN member states.
 
“Mount Inayawan being an ASEAN Heritage Park will not only open a window for international visitors but also will support us to alleviate the lives of the people in the province through livelihood opportunities. Through this it can help us continue the peace that we now have and will strengthen the relationship among Christians and Musilms”, Congressman Abdullah Dimaporo said.
 
Currently, the Philippines has 9 ASEAN Heritage Parks sites, and the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte is hoping for Mt. Inayawan, with its total area of 3,632.74 hectares (8,976.7 acres) and elevation of 1,535, to be added to the list.
 
After the meeting, the team, accompanied by Mayor Mamay and Ramon Serapio, the ENRO Officer, then went to see the majestic Mt. Inayawan for an on-site inspection.
 
Governor Dimaporo extended her appreciation to the team for their visit and assured of the constant support of the Provincial Government on the ongoing validation that will last until December 15,2021.
Governor Dimaporo said, “It will greatly serve as a boost to the efforts of the government and local community to safeguard Mt Inayawan and its flora and fauna. We are hoping to meet the criteria to be declared the 10th AHP in the country for it will grant us more leverage to seek support not only at the national level but at the international level as well.”
 
Saiben Mampao of PENRO said, “With its beauty and uniqueness, we are looking forward to achieving this venture to showcase also the culture of Maranao being called the ‘People of the Lake’”. PIO-LDN