IUCN’s visit to Laos to update on the Hin Nam No Transboundary UNESCO Nomination

Oct 29, 2019

A visit by IUCN lead by Mr. Peter Shadie, the new Director of the World Heritage Programme of the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN), joined the 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), brings 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.

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 Lao governments, 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.

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 für 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.

Photo: Ryan Deboodt 2017