Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park and outlying areas inclusive of the buffer zone

Date of Submission: 16/05/2006
Criteria: (ix)(x)
Category: Natural
Submitted by:
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) - Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau
State, Province or Region:
Isabela and Aurora provinces, Central Luzon
Coordinates: N15 59 35 to 18 3 11 E121 17 35 to 122 33 29
Ref.: 5037

The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) is within the Sierra Madre Biogeographic Zone (SMBGZ) which lies along the eastern side of Central Luzon. The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) is one of the ten (10) priority protected areas in the country. 

The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) is considered one of the most important of the protected areas system of the Philippines. It is the largest protected area in the country and the richest in terms of genetic, species and habitat diversity. The importance of the park is underscored by the myriad of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna that it supports. These include Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi ), Golden Crowned Flying Fox (Acerodon jubatus ), Philippine Eagle-Owl ( Bubo philippensis),  Isabela Oriole    (Oriolus isabellae ), Green Sea Turtle  ( Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead Turtle  ( Caretta caretta ), Hawksbill Turtle (Erethmochelys imbricata), Philippine Crocodile  (Crocodylus mindorensis ) and Dugong  ( Dugong dugon ).

The mountain range system provides the area for growth and development of unique habitats and their associated flora and fauna, e.g., grasslands to mountain forests, which is among the most unique and richest on a per area basis among the park systems in the Philippines. It is described as long mountain chain providing habitats for the numerous species of plants and animals adapted to various ecological niches.

The NSMNP is habitat to many endemic and rare species of plants.  Among the endemic plants in the park are the various species of the dipterocarp family such as Shorea spp. and Hopea spp., various orchids such as Dendrobium aclinia, the leguminous tree, Milletia longipes and a member of the citrus family, Swinglea glutinosa.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The government of the Philippines decreed the NSMNP a protected area -- the nation's largest -- in 1997. In 2001, a new law granted it permanent protected status, precluding extractive permits. As a permanent member of the Philippines' Protected Area Management Board, CI continues to provide scientific input to inform the planning process, as well as technical assistance and logistical support for park protection.  Major partners: Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources; local government units, both municipal and provincial; NGO for the Protected Area Inc.; Conservation of Priority Protected Areas of the Philippines; Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology; Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation; Plan International Philippines; University of the Philippines; Isabela State University; Leiden University; the Smithsonian Institution; Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

Comparison with other similar properties

Palanan Wilderness, Northeast Luzon- encompasses 200,000 ha. of prime virgin forest, revealing 10% of the country's protected wooodlands. The area shelters more than 200 species of birds including a small gathering of the Philippine Eagle. Along the coast of Sierra Madre, a small community of the Dumagat tribe resides with logging as their prime source of livelihood. Another group settling in the area are negritos.

Mount Guiting-Guiting, Romblon- Because of its isolated location, this impressive mountain has protected some of the rarest species of trees and wild animals, such as fruit bats, large monkeys and a hundred species of birds.

Coron Island, Palawan- the Island is covered with unexplored rainforests, stunning cliffs and secluded lakes. Aside from its rich wildlife and marine residents.

Mt. Pulag, Mountain Province- The mountain is a natural habitat of endemic species of wild plants, such as dwarf bamboo and the benguet pine, and wild species of birds, long haired fruit bats, Philippine deer and giant bushy tailed cloud rats.

Mount Kanlaon, Negros- located in the central highlands of Negros, this mountain is home to various species of ferns, lichens, and orchids. It is also inhabited by numerous species of tropical birds. Among them are hundred endemic species of bleeding heart pigeons and the nearing to extinction, Negros Fruit Doves. Others are Barblers and Warblers, Doves, Bulbuls, Flycatchers and woodpeckers.