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“𝙀𝙭𝙥𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙚, 𝙐𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙋𝙧𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙩”. This is the main goal of the celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst 2021 (IYCK 2021) which is organized by the International Union of Speleology, a global organization of cave and karst explorers, scientists, managers and educators. This initiative aims to raise the level of understanding and respect for these critically important and widespread natural resources.
 
The Biodiversity Management Bureau calls for the participation of the citizenry to join the celebration of the #InternationalYearofCavesandKarst as it turns the spotlight on children and youth, whose views and voices are often ignored or absent in influence processes and decision-making. Through Children Writing for Children, an online creative writing workshop for young aspiring writers in Grades 4-6,will be held on November 15 - 19, 2021. The celebration aims to provide a meaningful opportunity for children and youth to understand and take action for these priceless natural resources.
 
In the Cordilleras, 3 caves are classified as Class I, as follows: Ganuway, Calao and Jessie caves. Likewise, 21 caves were classified as II to include, Tabong, Baulan, Banat Caves1 and 2, Guano, Quiling, Manonot, Rizalista, Manacota Underground River, Lussok, Allabang, Ahabang, Bellang, Malayugan Avvu, Aran, Tenedkaw, Longog, Aki, Sumaguing, Lumiang and Balangagan caves. Also, 11 caves classified as Class III are Sibud-sibud, Kaungugan, Angib, Agapang, Simembaan, Kimmatre, Kimmampana, Pang-ot, Dangwa, Ansagan, and Pangagawan Caves.
These caves are treasures of the Cordillera region that need to be protected and preserved to sustain its beauty and natural rock formations.
 
Class I are caves with delicate and fragile geological formations, threatened species, archeological and paleontological values, and extremely hazardous conditions. Allowable use may include mapping, photography, educational and scientific purposes while the caves Classified as Class II are those with areas or portions which have hazardous conditions and contain sensitive geological, archaeological, cultural, historical and biological values or high quality ecosystem. It may be necessary to close sections of these caves seasonally or permanently. Particularly, it is open to experienced cavers or guided educational tours and visits. Also, Class III caves are generally safe to inexperienced visitor with no known threatened species, archeological, geological, natural history, cultural and historical values. These caves may also be utilized for economic purposes such as guano extraction and edible birds nest collection.