A detailed survey to uplift the conservation of Mount Mantalingahan, a protected landscape within the territorial jurisdiction of five municipalities in southern Palawan, has begun.

The Protected Area Management Office (PAMO) and the Sustainable Intervention on Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscape (SIBOL) have collaborated to conduct the High Conservation Value Assessment (HCVA) to identify specific locations for protection.

According to Reynato Gonzaga, superintendent of the Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape (MMPL), the activity that started in February comprises a thorough assessment of its features.

“HCVA is an environmental, social, or cultural attribute. This activity is under the project SIBOL, [a] 5-year project that gives technical assistance to Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) through the PAMO,” he said.

“Napakalaking bagay ito sa PAMO. Itong technical assistance sa atin ng SIBOL, malaking tulong sa atin upang mas lalo pa nating malaman kung paano pa natin mapapangalagaan ang ating MMPL, lalung-lalo na yung mga komunidad dito, yong ating mga katutubo, kaya kasama yong cultural survey rin sa areas. Sa land use change naman, kabilang ang pag-aaral sa landslide, baha, at iba pa,” Gonzaga explained.

During the kick-off event on February 27, the Rizal local government unit (LGU) sponsored a community engagement in Sitio Balen-balen, Brgy. Ransang to discuss the project’s aims.

Initial assessments have also been done by Biodiversity and Land Use Change teams comprised of people from the LGU, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, community leaders, tribe chieftains, MMPL tour guides, and porters.

Meanwhile, the MMPL has started to accept hikers after it reopened in the first week of February after a temporary closure in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the MMPL data, they were able to accommodate six domestic tourists last month, while the approval of the hiking permits continues for those who applied to visit this March.

“The management will only entertain clients who will send formal requests at mantraveresepalawan@gmail.com, the official email address for MMPL visitation,” the MMPL management reminded.

Those who wish to visit MMPL may refer to
https://www.facebook.com/100064377323891/posts/545003297655576/?app=fbl for more details.