Mt. Matutum of South Cotabato, Philippines: Tentative for UNESCO Natural World Heritage List

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Mt. Matutum of South Cotabato, Philippines is famous among mountaineers. It is one of the 29 mountain summits in the Philippines with prominence of 1,500 meters or greater. Mt. Matutum is #14 at 1,950 meters with an elevation of 2,286 meters (peaklist.org).

Mt. Matutum is also recognized among volcanologists. One publication classified that Mt. Matutum was once one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines and part of the "Pacific Ring of Fire". Now it is an inactive volcano.

Among those concerned about conservation, Mt. Matutum is suitable for the experimental release of the world renowned yet endangered Philippine National Bird. It is also a habitat to about 57 species of wildlife and 110 species of plants. (Wikipedia).

In the description of the site submitted to UNESCO, Mt. Matutum is also important to the coastal and watershed ecosystems of Sarangani Bay as it forms the headwaters and catchment area for several major drainages.

The Conical Form

Mt. Matutum is a spectacular natural backdrop of the the agricultural plains of Tupi and Polomolok, South Cotabato. It owes it's conical shape, although irregular, to its steep profile and the many layers of hardened lava brought about by periodic explosive eruptions. The last eruption was in 1911.

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On World Heritage List (Tentative)

The status "Tentative" on the UNESCO World Heritage List is the first step of the nomination process. It is an indication that the Philippine Government included Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape in its inventory of important natural and cultural sites.

The submission was made in May 16, 2006 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).

Mt. Matutum is submitted under the Natural Criteria ix and x in the Operational Guidelines 2005, as follows:

ix. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;

x. to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

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Achieving Outstanding Universal Value

To be included in the World Heritage List, Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape must qualify to the criteria stated above and must be of Outstanding Universal Value.

A natural or cultural site to be considered with Outstanding Universal Value is to have exceptional significance that transcends national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity (Operational Guidelines 2005) .

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A Call to Action

Within five to ten years upon submission of the Tentative List, the Philippine Government through DENR - PAWB will decide to proceed with the nomination for inscription.

Once nominated for inscription, the site goes through validation and evaluation of authenticity and integrity of its properties. Another important aspect of the evaluation is a well established protection and management of the site's conservation.

What happened since 2006 for Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape? The Tentative List was last revised in 2009. The status is still tentative. There are 28 other sites in the Philippines vying for recognition (The Tentative List).

It will be a pride to the Province of South Cotabato, Philippines to be recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. South Cotabate├▒os, we are already a step closer to the dream. Let us not waste time to make it happen! Let us aim for the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site recognition for Mt. Matutum Protected Landscape!

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Comments 17 comments

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Great informative hub! I have not heard of Mt. Matutum before. Thanks for sharing.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago Author

hello ms thelma! glad to meet you here. Mt. Matutum is in Mindanao. and it is like right in my backyard. i can see it from our terrace. i never knew also that this was in the tentative list for the UNESCO World Heritage Site until i took some pictures of its majestic beauty. (in fact, my two brothers already climbed that mountain. i never tried, i know i can't survive.)now knowing that it is, people should be aware to be a part in the consrvation. In fact, there are 28 other areas in the Phils vying for recognition. which province did you come from> who knows, there is one from your area. thank you for your comment!


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 5 years ago from Miami, US

This is one of those rare volcanoes that has that special cone shape. Many have their own unique shapes, but don't look like classical volcanoes. One thing that strikes me about this one is that there is no snow on it.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago Author

thanks for dropping by stephaniedas! yup conical volcanoes are actual a natural wonder. we have another one in our country, Mt. Mayon which is known for it's perfect cone, but this one is an active volcano. Mt. Matutum has already been classified as inactive. Regarding it's peak not having snow, it is because the elevation is only 2,286 meters. plus the fact that we are in the tropics. compared to Mt. Kilimanjaro, although also in a tropical regions, because of it's height abt about 5,895 meters, it's peak is enjoying snow covers. thank you for leaving your comment... (,")


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago

Oh wow, that mountain is so sexy. LOL Haven't visited Cotabato or any famous landmarks from southern Philippines. I'm so glad to find an awesome like this. It feels like a free trip. :)


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago Author

you have one that is closer. Mt. Mayon. At least it works both ways for us. Me with Mt. Matutum here coz I have not seen Mt. Mayon, too. and you there with Mt. Mayon.

you should visit Davao or Gensan. Both Cities have the beach and the night life. although Davao nightlife is more alive.

can i make a correction? Just make a note when you say Cotabato coz there are three places in southern Phils that has Cotabato. These are the provinces of North Cotabato and South Cotabato. When you say only Cotabato... you might be referring to North Cotabato famous for some news or the City of Cotabato which is an independent city in Maguindanao.

thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago

oh wow, I am so learning much things in here :)


kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Ouiiiii! Something about South Cotabato, finally! This hub does South Cotabato justice :) It's just that many people have some negative perceptions about the place. Thank you, thank you for writing about Mt. Matutum. I haven't visited it but it's definitely in my radar now.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago Author

more to come kerlynb! i have been storming my thoughts lately what to show about my place. i think we have something more to deliver. esp now that the province is making a tourism campaign. About Mt. Matutum, you won't miss it. When you fly to Gensan, you will be flying over this majestic volcano. make sure you sit on the left side of the plane. ask for the window seat. you will have your instant aerial tour. (,")


HikeGuy profile image

HikeGuy 5 years ago from Northern California Coast

Beautiful! Thank you for the information and the lovely photos of this special site. I hope it receives the UNESCO recognition.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 5 years ago Author

thanks for dropping by @HikeGuy. i used only a point and shoot camera. so the pictures are not that spectacular yet. but at least the pictures came out great. I do hope that this will soon be recognized by UNESCO. i will keep track of this in our local government now that i know it is on the tentative list. thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. (,")


Bernard 4 years ago

Please show us the beauty of Mt Matutum from with in not the usual from the distance.


looniestlove profile image

looniestlove 4 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

wow i did not know that Mt. Matutum is now part of the UNESCO Natural World Heritage List. This is a very infromative hub and thank you for showing us the beauty of Mt. Matutum, I live here in Mindanao and yet I have not Idea about this until now that I read your hub, very informative and well written.


anjperez profile image

anjperez 4 years ago Author

looniestlove, maraming magagandang lugar dito sa atin. ikutin lang natin ang ating bayan. hindi na kailangang mangibangbayan. nasa paraiso na tayo. dapat lang nating alagaan.


Ta 4 years ago

thanks for featuring mt. matutum, I had the best childhood days in Kinilis with my grandparents, I just visited the place last year.We have a small farm in Kinilis. Nice vacation place for our family.I enjoy the Fresh air and its great to wake up in the morning, with a cup of coffee--looking at this beautiful---Mt. Matutum.


Sheenapatty 2 years ago

This is one of the good place here in south cotabato...


juliet 2 years ago

hoping for latest updates and further discussions about mt.Matutum and if there is possibilities for it erupt.I really want that there should be a promotion or somewhat advertisement for its majestic view......:)

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