The effectiveness of the collaborative management of Hin Nam No National Protected Area (NPA) increased by around 16% since 2014, when its co-management system was established. This remarkably improved park management performance is a testament to Hin Nam No’s readiness to join Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in becoming South-East-Asia’s first trans-boundary UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. The 16%-increase- measured with the internationally recognized METT (Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool) – testifies major improvements including strengthened technical capacity and management skills of NPA staff and key stakeholders involved in park operations, a complete baseline for the protected area through implementation of a comprehensive research program and a comprehensive framework for sustainable tourism management.
The high management performance also motivates Hin Nam No to be designated as a National Park (IUCN category II) as currently pursued by the Government of Laos.
Despite the good result, the co-management committee of Hin Nam No NPA recognizes that the management has to be further improved, in areas like sustainable financing, staffing, application of appropriate technologies, equipment, and the NPA’s infrastructure. Sufficient operational budget for management and an appropriately staffed, professional park management office, in particular, are key requirements for a successful nomination as per the UNESCO world heritage convention. It is also of utmost importance that tangible benefits for local and indigenous communities are well identified and materialize in practice.
Hin Nam No has “outstanding universal value”. It adds to or complements the conservation values that are recognized by UNESCO to be of global importance in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park of Vietnam. These values need strong protection and therefore a strong commitment from the highest level of the Lao and the Vietnamese government and all stakeholders.
Photo: Ryan Deboodt 2017