Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park


The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) is the largest Protected Area in the Philippines with contiguous tropical rainforest. The area is also the richest in terms of genetic, species, and habitat diversity in the country. NSMNP is within the Sierra Madre Biogeographic Zone, which stretches along the eastern side of Northern Luzon (Region II) and the eastern part of Isabela province. It was designated as Protected Area by virtue of Republic Act 9125 in 2001. NSMNP covers a total of 359,486 hectares of which 287,861 hectares are land area and 71,625 hectares are coastline marine areas.

NSMNP provides various ecosystem services such as fresh water for irrigation and domestic uses, food, and flood control to some 56,000 individuals (PSA NSO 2010) who live within and adjacent to the park. Indigenous people, like the Agtas, the Paranans of Palanan, and the Kalinģas in the eastern slopes of San Mariano, Isabela contribute to the cultural significance of the area. The NSMNP is considered the most important Protected Area of the country and the habitat for a number of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna such as Narra, Almaciga, Kamagong, Philippine Eagle, Isabela Oriole, Sea Turtle, Philippine Crocodile, and Giant Monitor Lizard. 

In 2010, total forest cover in B+WISER's northern most priority site was at 276,300 hectares or 92% of total land area. However, continued forest and habitat degradation are prevalent, mainly caused by illegal tree cutting, slash and burn farming, fuel-wood collection, illegal hunting, and residential expansion. All these pressures on the natural forest lead to forest degradation of at least 1,400 hectares per year.