Hin Nam No National Protected Area (Hin Nam No NPA) under UNESCO World Heritage .
To support the Lao government in its endeavours to place the Hin Nam No National Protected Area (Hin Nam No NPA) under UNESCO World H
eritage protection, an international expert on geomorphology and hydrology recently visited the site.
The GIZ-Hin Nam No component of the German Development Cooperation programme Protection and Sustainable Use of Forest Ecosystems and Biodiversity (ProFEB) organised an 8-day technical field mission to the National Protected Area in Khammuan province.
The mission was led by Prof. Emeritus Paul Williams, an international expert on geomorphology and hydrology with the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and set out on April 25 to assess the area’s geologic and geomorphologic features in relation to other tropical karst (limestone) regions, according to the GIZ Laos office.
The GIZ reported that this evaluation was part of the technical work for the nomination process of Hin Nam No as part of a transboundary UNESCO World Heritage site with the Phong Nga Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam.
The technical work required for the nomination of the Hin Nam No NPA as an extension to the park in Vietnam officially kicked off in March 2018 with the first meeting of the Hin Nam No NPA UNESCO nomination Technical Taskforce.
Its key challenge is to demonstrate the area’s contribution to the Outstanding Universal Value of the soon-to-be transboundary World Heritage site. The exploratory mission, conducted from April 25 to 30, highlights Hin Nam No’s diverse landscape against the backdrop of other karst formations in the region and worldwide.
Khammuan provincial Governor, Mr Oday Soudaphone, joined the mission team’s exploration of Xe Bangfay cave, one of the largest active river cave passages in the world.
During his visit, Mr Oday stressed the importance of Hin Nam No’s anticipated UNESCO nomination for Laos, and Khammuan in particular, as a Natural World Heritage Site, saying official recognition would ensure the conservation and protection of the area and its outstanding universal value.
Tourism-wise, the remarkable features of Hin Nam No’s karst formations and its biological diversity will attract both local and international tourists, which will in turn generate income for local communities.
German Ambassador to Laos Jens Lütkenherm, who accompanied the technical mission on a helicopter flight over the karst landscape, highlighted Germany’s backing regarding the UNESCO nomination process.
“We fully support the Lao government in its effort to attain UNESCO World Heritage status for Hin Nam No in order to protect its biodiversity and to strengthen Laos’ international profile as an eco-tourism destination,” he said.
“The status as a UNESCO World Heritage site would undoubtedly promote effective conservation of the region’s spectacular flora and fauna, and the geoheritage of Laos.”
“Laos as a member of the global community will contribute outstanding universal value for all citizens of the globe if Hin Nam No gains UNESCO World Heritage protection,” he added.
Hin Nam No NPA, as part of a transboundary UNESCO World Heritage site with the Vietnamese Phong Nga Ke Bang National Park, would receive recognition by the international conservation community under the World Heritage convention.
However, there is still a lot of work needed to prepare for the submission of the nomination to UNESCO, particularly with respect to increasing knowledge about Hin Nam No and its values through baseline research.
As Prof. Emeritus Paul Williams concluded his mission, Dr Leonid Averyanov, a well-known botanist and orchid specialist, began a 2-week vegetation survey from May 2 to May 17,2018 / VientianeTimes Reporters / (Latest Update May 05, 2018)