Philippines puts 158 caves under protection

Nov 03, 2012
This file photo, taken in 2011, shows a tourist exploring a cave on the western Philippine island of Palawan. The Philippine government has put 158 caves under the protection of the environment department to safeguard them from treasure-hunters, vandals and looters, it was announced on Saturday.

The Philippine government has put 158 caves under the protection of the environment department to safeguard them from treasure-hunters, vandals and looters, it was announced on Saturday.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the caves, which are scattered across the country, would be protected both by the department and .

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said caves were a valuable for their scientific, historical and cultural value.

"Yet they are also in constant threat from destructive human activities like , treasure hunting, pollution and illegal extraction of resources," he said in a statement.

Many caves in the Philippines have been illegally excavated by people searching for treasure, valuable minerals, artefacts to be sold as antiques or even stalagmites and stalactites which are sold as decorations.

Under the order, 118 caves have been classified as being closed to the general public because they are too dangerous or contain valuable , threatened species or historical artefacts.

Such caves will be accessible only by scientists, researchers or trained spelunkers, the department said.

Another 40 caves were listed as "generally safe," and remain open to the general public to visit or for activities such as collecting guano and bird's nests for soup, the department added.

The department's bureau has counted at least 1,756 caves scattered across the Southeast Asian archipelago but only a small number have been checked and classified by authorities.

Explore further: 'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Uncovering Nottingham's hidden medieval sandstone caves

May 13, 2010

The very latest laser technology combined with old fashioned pedal power is being used to provide a unique insight into the layout of Nottingham's sandstone caves — where the city's renowned medieval ale was brewed and, ...

Astronauts going underground

Sep 12, 2012

ESA's CAVES training programme began its second phase last Friday as six astronauts ventured into the Sardinian caves in Italy that are their home this week. CAVES mimics elements of spaceflight to prepare ...

Menacing monsoons

Jun 27, 2012

Studying the long rainy seasons in Indochina can help climatologists understand the accompanying and often threatening weather phenomenon and hopefully bring relief to its inhabitants.

Seven new mice species found in Philippines

Jun 15, 2011

Seven new species of mice have been found by local and US scientists in the mountains of the Philippines, the government's environment department said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

12 hours ago

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu ...

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

Jan 31, 2015

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

Jan 30, 2015

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

Researchers develop new potato cultivar

Jan 30, 2015

Dakota Ruby is the name of a new potato cultivar developed by the NDSU potato breeding project and released by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. Dakota Ruby has bright red skin, stores well and is intended ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.