Puerto Princesa underground river among new 7 wonders

MANILA, Philippines—The Puerto Princesa Underground River was crowned as one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature.

In provisional results released early Saturday, the New7Wonders Foundation also named the Amazon rainforest, Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, Indonesia’s Komodo,  South Korea’s Jeju Island, South Africa’s Table Mountain, and Vietnam’s Halong Bay.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is one among the original 440 entries from more than 220 countries across the globe vying to be included in the New 7 Wonders of Nature organized in 2007 by the Switzerland-based New7Wonders Foundation.

The Philippine government campaigned vigorously for the subterranean river, reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world.

Also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, the river is one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines.

It features a spectacular limestone or karst landscape that contains an 8.2 km long underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it flows directly into the sea, and the lower half portion of the river is brackish and subject to tidal influence.

The area also represents significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. It contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests, which are among the most significant in Asia.

The underground river is designated a core area for the Palawan Biosphere Reserve under the Man and Biosphere Program. In recognition of its globally significant natural properties, it was inscribed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s of (UNESCO) List of Natural World Heritage Sites. Inscription to the list confirms the exceptional and universal value of the Site that deserves to be protected for the benefit of all humanity.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is managed by the City Government of Puerto Princesa based on a program centered on environmental conservation and sustainable development.

It has the distinction of being the first national park devolved and successfully managed by a local government unit. It has been cited as an example of best practices for biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism in the Philippines.

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