State of Conservation (SOC)
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (2004)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:70,000USD
|2003||Impact analysis of illegal fishing activities on the conservation ...||20,000 USD|
|1997||Training of a core-group of personnel on Human scientific ...||30,000 USD|
|1996||Technical assistance for the protection and public awareness for ...||20,000 USD|
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
Fishing; Lack of management mechanism (including legislation).
Current conservation issues
The Centre and IUCN received a draft report from the Director of the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park on 30 January 2004. The report notes that, as requested by the Committee at its 27th session, a number of assessments on the effects of illegal fishing on the marine biodiversity of the site are under way with the support of the technical assistance received from the World Heritage Fund. The Director of the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park has confirmed to the World Heritage Centre that the final version of the report will be submitted to the World Heritage Centre by 15th June 2004 at the latest, as requested in the activity financing contract.
IUCN believes that information from these studies could be useful for comparative studies on ecological conditions with those at the time of inscription of the site on the World Heritage List and for making judgements on how well conditions of site integrity are being maintained. Hence, IUCN recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit information from the studies to the Centre as soon as possible.
IUCN has noted that the State Party has provided some information on the issue of illegal fishing activities in the Sulu Sea and an analysis of the impact on the World Heritage property. IUCN believes however that more details and further clarification on this issue are needed and has suggested that the State Party consider convening national workshops, launch awareness campaigns and/or conduct studies on current legislation and its enforcement to better understand ways and means to mitigate impacts of illegal fishing.
A selected number of side-events focussing on the conservation of marine ecosystems in East Asia, convened during the 7th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 9 to 20 February 2004, reviewed the question of illegal fishing. Most of the participants in those events were of the view that efforts to address illegal fisheries may require sub-regional and regional level co-operation if they are to be successful.
Link to the decision
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: a) the lack of sufficient resources for the management of the property, b) national and international illegal fishing activities, which in turn have strong connection with poverty as well as to insufficient law enforcement, and c) lack of awareness. Future threats for the site include shipping, oil exploration and potential growth of tourism; 3. Urges the State Party to take necessary measures to secure the conservation of Tubbataha Reef. These measures should include: a) strengthening the financial sustainability of the site management through a range of actions, including establishment of an endowment fund, b) institutionalizing the park management through better application of legislation relevant to protected areas, c) ensuring proper enforcement of illegal fishing cases by strengthening the functioning of the judicial system, and d) 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.
Draft decision: 28 COM 15B.18
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 site on the World Heritage List;
2. Invites the State Party to submit a report, based on a review of the findings of the final version of the state of conservation report at the time of the 28th session of the Committee, on progress achieved with follow-up action, as recommended by the Committee, by 1 February 2005 for review at the 29th session of the Committee in 2005;
3. Recommends that IUCN and the Centre consult with the State Party and other relevant partners to host a sub-regional or regional forum to address the issue of illegal fisheries in East Asian seas, including the Sulu Sea, and report 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.
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The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).