With bare hands and primitive tools, standard farmers in the highlands of the Phippines have been forming the Banaue or Ifugao rice terraces into a splendour accomplishment that attracts the attention of around the world visitors. The rice balconies with the cluster websites are dated more than 2,000 years of ages. These incredible developments, nevertheless, are now in risk of falling apart down into oblivion. The Location in Threat These terraces are positioned in the mountain area of the northern part of the Philippines about 340 kilometers far from Manila.
From here, the high place could be reached some 8 to 9 hours by motor ride. These terraces have actually been hand-fashioned like excellent stairs that if laid directly from one indicate another can encircling half the earth’s diameter. For countless years, this magnificent human accomplishment has intruded human imagination increasing human creativity and ingenuity. For all the good qualities rendered to this home, the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed the site as a world heritage dubbing it as the “Eight Wonder of the World.
In 1973, the Philippine federal government gave these heritage residential or commercial properties an unique recognition as a national landmark of being an important treasure. In 1995, the UNESCO inscribed the Banaue Rice Terraces and the cluster sites worldwide Heritage List. In 1994, by virtue of the Presidential Executive Order 158, it created the Ifugao Rice UNESCO Terraces Commission that offers advisory matters to the Philippine President relating to aspects impacting them. Diverse Life Forms For countless years, the balcony has actually been acting as house for diverse life types including marine animals, fishes, etc.
thriving in the water-filled, pollution-free paddies. The terrace is also a home for some native red rice varieties and other indigenous rices, which are also considered endangered. In recent years, however, keen observers have noted some negative changes happening within and outside the terraces. Some contributing factors that have been diverting the terraces to these negative changes include environmental degradation and neglect, the rampant use of synthetic pesticides, degrading rice yield, fast rate of urbanization, growing poverty among terrace farmers, and the fermentation of the once solid indigenous folk cultures.
Some parts of the heritage property, which were once verdantly green and fertile have now turned into partly eroded brownish, drying grasslands. In 1950, a data report from Abano (2007) shows that farmers cultivated some 15,000 hectares (about 37,000 acres) of this highland terrace. Today, that figure has dwindled to merely 5,000 hectares (about 12,000 acres) maintained by some 100,000 tribal farmers. UNESCO gave warnings in 2001 the possibility of delisting the Banaue Rice Terraces from the World Heritage List.
This is because little efforts have been exerted in saving the heritage property from widening irreversible damage. From a distance, desolate terraced landscapes have already shown wears while other similar areas slowly UNESCO disappear due to lack of care. Younger populations from the darkly terraced areas have instead preferred to migrate to the cities where ‘the lights are brighter’ with more income opportunities to choose from. This transmigration has resulted to erosion, not only of the physical terraces they till, but also of the culture and traditions they have been preserving for thousands of years.
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