Mount Apo Natural Park

Category: B+WISER Sites



BACKGROUND

 

The Mount Apo Natural Park (MANP), with a total land area of about 64,000 hectares, is located in south-central Mindanao spanning the provinces of North Cotabato in Region 12, and Davao Sur and Davao City in Region 11. With an altitude of 2,954 meters above sea level, it is the highest mountain and one of the most popular nature-based tourism sites in the country. MANP was declared a Protected Area and a component of the National Protected Areas System under Republic Act No. 9237 in 2003.

 

MANP has great economic significance in the two regions, providing various ecosystem services (e.g., water for domestic use and irrigation, source for energy generation) to 3 cities and 4 municipalities with over 390,000 households. It is inhabited by several indigenous tribes, mainly by Manobos, Bagobos, and Klata. They consider Mt. Apo a sacred mountain and the burial ground of Apo Sandawa, their great forefather. 

 

MANP is included in the UN List of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves and acknowledged as an ASEAN Heritage Site. A Key Biodiversity Area it is home to over 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic. MANP also houses one of the world’s largest eagles, the critically endangered Philippine Eagle.

 

In 2010, total forest cover in MANP was at 14,900 hectares or 30% of total land area. However, continued forest and habitat degradation is prevalent as forest land is being converted for agricultural use and human settlements expand. Additional threats to forest health, such as illegal tree cutting primarily for household use and charcoal making, result in a serious net forest loss of about 1,400 hectares per year.