IUCN Officials Visit Laos To Update On Hin Nam No Transboundary UNESCO Nomination

An IUCN team led by Mr. Peter Shadie, the new Director of the World Heritage Programme of the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN), is on a working visit to Laos to join a local technical taskforce to review recent progress made on the Nomination of Hin Nam No as a World Heritage site.

Mr. Shadie, with his expert knowledge of the region and as the author of the UNESCO World Heritage Readiness Assessment for Hin Nam No National Protected Area (February 2017), has brought in-depth site-specific knowledge of the area and long-standing expertise in UNESCO procedures.

The technical taskforce was able to benefit from his World Heritage experience and expertise to revise the progress on the 50 recommendations Mr. Shadie elaborated in 2017 to strengthen Hin Nam No’s candidacy for World Heritage status.

Mr. Shadie’s remarked that IUCN is delighted to see the continued momentum and commitment from all levels of government in Laos working with partners to advance this exciting prospect for addition to the World Heritage List. We look forward, in time, to seeing the nomination go through our formal evaluation process

Purposely, the visit of Mr. Shadie and other IUCN representatives was scheduled just two weeks after the 8th National Heritage Steering Committee Meeting addressing the application of Hin Nam No to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

This highlights the commitment and dedication of the government, and is testimony to the consistent international support to promote and safeguard the natural heritage of Laos. If the nomination proves to be successful, Hin Nam No and Phong Nha-Ke Bang will become the first transboundary natural World Heritage in Southeast Asia.

Mr. Bounmy Phimmasone, Vice Governor of Khammuan province, who chaired this taskforce meeting, underlined With a view to the continuous exchange and collaboration that Laos and Vietnam are jointly undertaking, I strongly believe in a successful nomination of Hin Nam No National Protected Area as a transboundary World Heritage site together with Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The nominated site will constitute one of the geologically and biologically most outstanding transboundary karst landscapes in the world.

It is impressive to see how much progress the Lao government has made towards the UNESCO World Heritage nomination of Hin Nam No. For a successful nomination it is important that this protected area is upgraded to a National Park and that Lao authorities provide sufficient staffing and operational budget for the effective management of Hin Nam No. Germany is proud to be a partner for Laos in this undertaking, said Jens Luetkenherm, German ambassador to the Lao PDR during the meeting with Mr. Shadie.

The Department of Heritage and the Department of Forestry are cooperating closely to achieve the nomination with the support from the German government thought the project Protection and Sustainable Use of Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity (ProFEB), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

The taskforce meeting provided a unique opportunity to benefit from the first-hand contribution of one of the world’s leading World Heritage experts to discuss technical challenges, revisit the nomination road map and understand critical points and aspects of such a nomination. This will help the Technical Task Force to steer the nomination process in the right direction and to manage it effectively and efficiently.

Source: Lao News Agency