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Decision : 28 COM 15B.18
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (Philippines)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Commends the State Party for providing information on the current status on actions taken to mitigate illegal fishing and for launching studies that may enable comparative analysis of current ecological conditions with those at the time of inscription of the property on the World Heritage List; and congratulates the State Party for the comprehensive state of conservation report received 15 June 2004 as well as for the conservation actions taken to date to conserve the property;
  2. Notes that the major threats facing the Tubbataha Reef are related to:
    1. the lack of sufficient resources for the management of the property,
    2. national and international illegal fishing activities, which in turn have strong connection with poverty as well as to insufficient law enforcement, and
    3. lack of awareness. Future threats for the site include shipping, oil exploration and potential growth of tourism;
  3. 3. Urges the State Party to take necessary measures to secure the conservation of Tubbataha Reef. These measures should include:
    1. strengthening the financial sustainability of the site management through a range of actions, including establishment of an endowment fund,
    2. institutionalizing the park management through better application of legislation relevant to protected areas,
    3. ensuring proper enforcement of illegal fishing cases by strengthening the functioning of the judicial system, and
    4. other related measures identified in the state of conservation report submitted by the State Party ;
  4. Urges also the international community to provide technical and financial support for conservation of the property ;
  5. Encourages the State Party to consider extending the property to include adjoining Jezzie Beezly and Bastera Reefs in order to increase the integrity of the property ;
  6. Recommends that the State Party host a sub-regional or regional forum, in consultation with IUCN, the World Heritage Centre and other relevant partners, to address the issue of illegal fisheries in East Asian seas, including the Sulu Sea, and reports on the result to the 29th session of the Committee in 2005, and encourages the State Party to request international assistance to implement this forum ;
  7. Requests the State Party to submit a status report on progress achieved with follow-up action of all those conservation measures that were identified in the report submitted by the State Party by 1 February 2006 for review at the 30th session of the Committee in 2006.
Themes: Conservation
Focal Point: APA
States Parties: Philippines
Year: 2004
Decision Code: 28 COM 15B.18