The University of Santo Tomas Graduate School Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST GS CCCPET) in collaboration with UST College of Tourism and Hospitality Management (UST-CTHM) recently concluded the Phase 2 of the Technical Assistance for the Nomination of Samar Island Natural Park (SINP) to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Assoc. Prof. Eric B. Zerrudo PhD, Director of USTGS-CCCPET, a former UNESCO Philippines Commissioner for the World Heritage Convention and the Focal Person for Intangible Cultural Heritage Convention of the Philippines, heads the project ably supported by UST CTHM team represented by Dean Atty. Gezzez G. Granado.
The UST team coordinated on line meetings and monitored the collation of documents despite the limited mobility due to the covid 19 pandemic. The SINP World Heritage campaign is a concerted effort composed of the three Samar Island Provinces- Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar valuably endorsed by the SINP Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region VIII, and Department of Tourism (DOT) Region VIII.
The SINP Project highlights the biodiversity and endemicity of the Park worthy of UNESCO World Heritage conservation standard. Phase 1 of the project delved on the cultural mapping of the Samar Island ended last May 2020. Phase 2 which ran from August 2020 to February 2021 produced the initial draft of the nomination dossier including the sustainable tourism and strategic development plan for Samar Island Natural Park. Phase 3 is programmed to start May 2021. In this phase, the USTGS-CCCPET continues and expands collaborative efforts with UST-CTHM and UST College of Science for the profiling of the biological significance of the property.