The University of Santo Tomas Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics recently conducted a cultural mapping project at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

The aim of this Puerto Princesa city government and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project is to identify the built, natural, movable, and intangible heritage of the areas comprising the core and buffer zones of PPSRNP, a World Heritage Site and one of New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Public school teachers, barangay health workers, and UNDP, PPSRNP, and city government staff participated in the cultural mapping activity.

Its output was used for crafting the Infrastructure and Activity Guidelines for PPSRNP which includes Development Principles and Design Guidelines, Zoning, Graphic Design and Signage Manual, Community Organizing Strategy and Monitoring, Code of Conduct for caving, and Media Campaign and Strategies.

This was done in response to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) requirements for PPSRNP for it not to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site endangered list.

The Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage Studies program, headed by Assoc. Prof. Eric Zerrudo, teamed with a number of the program’s students for the project.

The final output was handed over to the PPSRNP management during the 17th UNESCO World Heritage List inscription anniversary of PPSRNP held at the Best Western Hotel in Puerto Princesa City on December 5, 2016.