Liguasan Marsh is a marsh in the Mindanao River basin in the southern island of Mindanao, Philippines. It is the largest and most intact wetland in the country, covering over 220,000 hectares, spread across the provinces of Cotabato, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat. It is a conglomeration of three marshes: Liguasan Marsh proper, Libungan Marsh, and the Ebpanan Marsh.
The marsh is rich in natural and cultural resources, as it is home to various species of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and plants. Some of the rare and endemic species that can be found in the marsh are the Philippine duck, the comb-crested jacana, the Philippine crocodile, and the Philippine eagle. The marsh also serves as a source of livelihood for the local communities who depend on fishing, farming, and ecotourism. The marsh hosts an annual festival called Inaul, which celebrates the culture and heritage of Maguindanao.
The marsh also has a potential for oil and gas exploration, as it is estimated to have a natural gas deposit that covers a radius of 300 square kilometers. However, the marsh also faces some environmental challenges due to mining operations in the nearby provinces that pose a threat to its habitat and water quality.
Liguasan Marsh is one of the hidden gems of Mindanao that showcases its natural beauty and diversity.
Photo credit: http://mindanation.com