Ifugao Rice Terraces in 6th Episode of Protected Areas Series

January 12, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda enjoins the public to watch the sixth episode of the documentary series Our Fragile Earth: Protected Areas of the Philippines, featuring the world-renowned Ifugao Rice Terraces, on January 13, 2018.

“The Ifugao Rice Terraces were carved by the Ifugaos to create rice fields that have intricate irrigation systems and follow the natural contours of the hills and mountains along the Cordillera region. I consider it a living, breathing majestic work of art and nature,” Legarda said.

“One can’t help but marvel at the adeptness and diligence of the Ifugaos who carved each payao with their bare hands and with tools that they put together using natural materials. It is truly an engineering spectacle,” Legarda added.

The Ifugao Rice Terraces were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Six years after, however, they were also incorporated in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage in Danger because of the continued threats brought about by unregulated development, deforestation, and climate change.

In 2012, following efforts from government officials to restore and conserve as well as promote sustainable tourism in the area, the UNESCO removed the Ifugao Rice Terraces from its list of sites in danger.

“While the Ifugao Rice Terraces is not a declared protected area, we need to communicate to the public that these terraces serve a purpose higher than providing an aesthetic backdrop in our travels. This episode of Our Fragile Earth emphasizes the importance of the centuries-old terraces in preserving our country’s biodiversity and rich heritage and culture, in addressing our agricultural needs, and as a living testament to the Filipino’s creativity and ingenuity,” Legarda said.

The protected areas documentary series was narrated and conceptualized by Legarda, directed by Brillante Mendoza, and produced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“This series aims to educate citizens on our protected areas, which are critical in conserving our biodiversity that is essential to our existence and survival. Through this documentary series, Filipinos will learn more about our protected areas—the richness of these areas and the challenges in conservation. We want Filipinos to appreciate the unique natural heritage that we have and enjoin everyone to protect them,” said Legarda.

Protected areas are identified portions of land and water set aside by reasons of their unique physical and biological significance, managed to enhance biological diversity and protected against destructive human exploitation. There are 240 identified protected areas in the country.

Our Fragile Earth: Protected Areas of the Philippines airs every Saturday, 7:45 a.m., on the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), with replays every Sunday1:45 p.m.