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Int’l experts note Lao enthusiasm for Hin Nam No promotion, safeguards

International experts have observed the Lao government’s passion for promoting and safeguarding natural heritage through its efforts in applying for Hin Nam No National Protected Area as a World Heritage site.
The observation was highlighted at a meeting of the technical taskforce held in Vientiane on Monday to review recent progress made in the nomination of the natural site in Laos as a World Heritage site.

The meeting was chaired by Vice Governor of Khammuan province, Mr Bounmy Phimmasone, and joined by new Director of the World Heritage Programme of the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN), Mr Peter Shadie, and other representatives from IUCN.
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. 
His work in 2017 has strengthened 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 the IUCN delegation 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 government and is a testimony to the consistent international support to promote and safeguard the natural heritage of Laos,” a press release from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH office in Vientiane stated.
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.
Referring to the exchange and collaboration between Laos and Vietnam, Khammuan province Vice Governor Mr Bounmy expressed his confidence on the success of the nomination.
“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,” he said.
“The nominated site will constitute one of the geologically and biologically most outstanding transboundary karst landscapes in the world,” he added.
In his talks with Mr Shadie, German Ambassador to Laos Jens Luetkenherm noted the importance of upgrading Hin Nam No site to a national park, promising Germany’s partnership to offer a budget for its management.
“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,” he said.
The Department of Heritage and Department of Forestry are cooperating closely to achieve the nomination with support from the German government thought the project “Protection and Sustainable Use of Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity” (ProFEB), implemented by GIZ.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update September 20, 2019)

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