Dulnuan, E. D. (2007)
Heritage Tourism and a Conservation Fund: Working Together to Help Save the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippines.
MSc thesis for the Socio-SpatialAnalysis Group, Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands.While UNESCO has declared the Ifugao rice terraces as a World Heritage Site, it has alsoenlisted it as endangered. This study assesses the conservation that UNESCO advocatedfor the Ifugao Rice Terraces and how the different stakeholders could contribute towardsthe restoration and maintenance of the rice terraces. The findings from literature revealthat UNESCO needs to consider the indigenous approach to conservation, looking notonly at the terraces but at the whole landscape. Findings from a survey also reveal thattourists are willing to pay tourist fees to aid in the conservation. Grass-root levelstakeholders have the innate capacity for collective work which is the indigenous andtraditional approach to rice culture which made the rice terraces survive through athousand years. This study recommends a campaign for the return of the practice of collective work (
). It also recommends that the Heritage MaintenanceFund be locally-based (at the
or village level) for the farmers and farmer groups to easily access the fund for the maintenance of the rice terraces. Furthermore, itcalls for a coherent implementation of the collection of the tourist fees, starting with aninformation campaign to inform and educate the tourists and local residents on the valueand importance of the tourist fee and the Heritage Maintenance Fund. Finally, it endorsesthe use of matching funds (in terms of labour and materials) from the farmers and farmer groups before they could use the Heritage Maintenance Fund so as to remove a dole-outmentality and to spread the fund’s benefit to more area and more people.Key words: Conservation, heritage tourism, heritage maintenance fund, willingness-to- pay, tourist fee(s), Ifugao Rice Terraces