Community-Based Mapping of the Rice Terraces Inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List

by Nathaniel C. Bantayan, Margaret M. Calderon, Josefina T. Dizon, Asa Jose U. Sajise, Myranel G. Salvador

The rice terraces in four municipalities of Ifugao were inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995 as the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras under the category of organically evolved landscapes. This category includes landscapes that developed as a result of an initial social, economic, administrative or religious imperative, and by association with and in response to the natural environment. However, the terraces have deteriorated over the years, and those inscribed in the World Heritage List have been reclassified to the World Heritage in Danger List in 2001. This study is part of a research project that aimed to develop a sustainable financing mechanism for the conservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces. The report focuses on the estimation of the extent of the rice terraces in the heritage municipalities and the extent of damage that was undertaken with the participation of local communities. The other findings of the project concerning the financing mechanism are presented in a separate report. We used geo-referenced and other data from various sources to produce maps showing the extent of the rice terraces in the heritage sites, as well as the extent of damage. The initial activities focused on secondary data from which basemaps were generated for each of the four heritage Ifugao municipalities. Individual GIS thematic layers were produced showing rice terraces along with the general features of the landscape (e.g. river network, road network, elevation, including municipal boundaries). These were consequently presented in workshops to the communities (e.g. farmers and local officials). The information generated from the community maps specifically showing the damaged rice terraces were used to estimate the cost of rehabilitating the terraces and the potential revenues that can be collected from local and foreign tourists.

  • Publication Year: 2009
  • Country: Philippines
  • Sector: Others
  • Type: Individual Research Grant
  • Research Area: Protected Area and Biodiversity
  • Research Topic: Cultural Heritage
  • Analytical Framework: Explicative Research
Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia