1.         Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines) (N 653bis)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (vii)(ix)(x)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1996-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 70,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Excess exploitation of marine resources; Destructive fishing.

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

The State Party submitted the international assistance request as per recommendation of the Committee at its 28th session.

IUCN reviewed this request submitted by the Philippines authorities in January 2005 for the organization of a Sub-regional Forum on Illegal Fishing.  It did not support the request in the form presented at that time due to a lack of focus and clarity in the proposed activity, but noted that the overall objective was of high importance.  IUCN provided its comments and suggestions and offered its support for improving the request and proposed activity.

IUCN is of the view that the sub-regional workshop should seek to identify common ground with neighbouring countries encountering similar issues and focus on the possibility of establishing a regional network of Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) within the Sulu Sea region, with regional monitoring and compliance mechanisms.  The workshop should therefore bring together MPA managers, fisheries specialists, Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) specialists, local fishing companies, the navy or coast guard and possibly some experts from the region that could provide information on their experiences.  The goal of the workshop should be to bring together those with common interests in order to raise awareness of the issue and build momentum for tackling it.  The workshop could develop a Tubbataha Declaration or Statement on illegal fishing and seek to spread this message widely. 

Based on these recommendations of IUCN, the Secretariat suggested that the Philippine authorities redraft the international assistance request for further review. 

By the time of preparing this working document, the Secretariat had not received the reformulated international assistance request. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre and IUCN


Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7B.13

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29.COM/7B.Rev,

2. Recalling its Decision 28 COM 15B.18, adopted at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Notes with satisfaction that the State Party of Philippines has begun plans and sought international assistance to organise a Sub-regional Workshop on Illegal Fishing in the Sulu Sea;

4. Urges the State Party to work with the World Heritage Centre and IUCN to further develop and refine these plans for the Workshop and submit a reformulated international assistance request so that the Chairperson of the Committee may consider its approval at the earliest possible time;

5. Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2006, a report on the implementation of the recommendations contained in Decision 28 COM 15B.18, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).