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College of Design


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Batanes, Philippines


The smallest and northernmost province of the Philippines, the 11 islands of the Batanes archipelago form a unique cultural landscape. Relatively isolated from both Taiwan to the north and mainland Luzon province to the south, many of the region’s historic traditions have persisted into the modern era. Recognized as a key site in the migration of the Austronesian people across the Pacific, Batanes is also notable for the response of the local population, the Ivatan, to the challenges of their environment, and the remarkable fusion of colonial influences and local culture. After a nomination for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2007 was referred for revision, UNESCO asked the Center for World Heritage Studies to work with officials in the Philippines to develop, rework, and resubmit the nomination dossier. CWHS Director Arthur Chen and Research Fellow Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla conducted a research mission to Batanes in September, 2007, resulting in recommendations for the revised dossier, to be resubmitted in fall 2008. Recommendations include expanding the nomination site to include the entire Batanes archipelago/province; revised nomination criteria; and increased focus on the cultural and ecological value of traditional land-use patterns in the area.

Download the Batanes Project Summary