‘Thrilled’: Bohol becomes Philippines first UNESCO’s Global Geopark

May 25, 2023 - 12:27 PM
This file photo shows Chocolate Hills. (Provincial Government of Bohol/Released)

It’s official! The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared Bohol islands as the first Global Geopark of the Philippines.

This was after the island was named one of the new 18 Global Geoparks. They were endorsed by UNESCO’s Executive Board.

Only the Philippines and New Zealand are new to entering the roster.

Meanwhile, the new global geopark took to Twitter to share the news.

“We are thrilled to share with you [that] it’s official! Bohol Island has become the very first Global Geopark of the Philippines,” Bohol Island Geopark said.

In a release, UNESCO said it recognized the island for its “geological identity has been pieced together over 150 million years, as periods of tectonic turbulence have raised the island from the ocean depths.

It cited that the geopark has abundant karstic sites like caves, sinkholes and cone karst, which include the iconic cone-shaped Chocolate Hills that can be found in the center of the province.

The agency said Chocolate Hills are the result of a thousand of years of erosion of the limestone on what was once a “thick build-up of coral reefs that thrived during the Pilocene around two to five million years ago.”

UNESCO also cited the Danajon Double Barrier Reef consisting of two sets of large offshore coral reefs that were formed by tidal currents and coral growth. It described the reef located along the northern coast as “one of its kind in Southeast Asia” and one of the six documented double barrier reefs on Earth.

Aside from these, UNESCO also featured Bohol’s three-tiered Can-umantad waterfalls, the highest in the province, as well as the uplifted marine terrace in Loon, now dubbed the “Coral Garden” by the residents.

The following global geoparks are the 17 others named by UNESCO:

  • Brazil’s Caçapava UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Brazil’s Quarta Colônia UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Greece’s Lavreotiki UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Indonesia’s Ijen UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Indonesia’s Maros Pangkep UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Indonesia’s Merangin Jambi UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Indonesia’s Raja Ampat UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Iran’s Aras UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Iran’s Tabas UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Japan’s Hakusan Tedorigawa UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Malaysia’s Kinabalu UNESCO Global Geopark
  • New Zealand’s Waitaki Whitestone UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Norway’s Sunnhordland UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Republic of Korea’s Jeonbuk West Coast UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Spain’s Cabo Ortegal UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Thailand’s Khorat UNESCO Global Geopark
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark

These 18 sites brought the total global geoparks in 48 countries to 195.