One of the major successes of Green Globe 21 in the past year has been the development of Green Globe 21 destinations in the Philippines. With the assistance of the Philippine Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), two firm projects are underway for the Ifugao Rice Terraces and Camiguin Island. The projects aim to ensure that these destinations, the 'eighth wonder of the world' and the 'island paradise', remain long term, sustained tourist destinations.
Green Globe 21 has found considerable support for these projects, not only at national level, but amongst local communities and businesses. As resources become available, further Green Globe 21 destinations will be developed in the Philippines.
The Rice Terraces form one of the world's finest agricultural landscapes covering an area of nearly 400 sq km and encompassing nine towns and four heritage sites. The project at Ifugao will aim to ensure that planning controls are enforced and traditional agricultural methods encouraged to preserve the unique nature of these features. A 'visitor payback' scheme is also planned to enable tourists to directly contribute to the conservation of the rice terraces.
Camiguin is the prime tourist destination in the Mindanao Region, receiving 120,000 visitors in 1996. Tourists access to the Island by boat but the small airstrip is being developed to take aircraft up to Airbus size, significantly increasing tourism opportunities. The tourist attractions at Camiguin include beautiful beaches and dive spots, numerous waterfalls, and hot and cold springs - all of which are fragile and sensitive natural features. The project at Camiguin aims to ensure that these natural areas, and the local culture, are properly maintained and incorporated into tourism development plans.