The UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC), the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and UNESCO Office in Hanoi, are jointly organizing a High-Level Consultation Workshop on the conservation of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park (Vietnam) and Hin Namon National Conservation Area (Lao PDR) from 7 to 11 December 2006 at Hanoi and Quang Binh Province of Vietnam. With financial support from the Netherlands Funds-In-Trust available at the World Heritage Centre, this activity was launched in collaboration with the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and Lao National Commission for UNESCO as well as other responsible ministries in the two countries. After a two-day workshop in Hanoi, the participants will be invited to undertake a field visit to Phong Nha-Ke Bang World Heritage site in Quang Binh Province of Vietnam.
The main objective of this workshop is to invite relevant authorities from Lao PDR to view and discuss with their counterparts in Vietnam opportunities and constraints that World Heritage introduces into the conservation and development of natural heritage. It is hoped that the transboundary areas of Vietnam and Lao PDR will together constitute a natural heritage site with a complete ecosystem. This would offer a powerful option for increased conservation status, which also has the potential to provide increased opportunities for tourism and resource mobilization. The meeting would also aim to provide a forum for colleagues to exchange views on a methodology for the preparation of World Heritage nominations and on the adoption of a cooperation agreement to harmonize and coordinate complementary management mechanisms of the two States Parties concerned on the conservation and management of this important karst landscape in Southeast Asia.