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Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Philippines
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Illegal activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 3 (from 1996-2003)
Total amount approved : 70,000 USD
Missions to the property until 2003**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

IUCN was informed about the illegal fishing activities within the World Heritage site that occurred in 2002, after which the Philippines authorities apprehended six vessels with a crew of 136 Chinese individuals. 122 poachers were kept in detention and taken to court under charges of poaching, gathering of rare, endangered or threatened species, and/or fishing with the use of explosives and poisonous substances. On 27 September 2002, the court hearing ruled in favour of confiscation of all the vessels and a penalty of US$ 100,000 per vessel. IUCN has been informed however, that the State Party, represented by the State Prosecutor, has not yet pursued the collection of these fines. IUCN has also been informed that the Department of Justice accepted a plea bargain agreement that reduced the terms of imprisonment. Local NGOs have subsequently initiated E-mail campaigns and petition letters in order to ensure the full application of the law in any future illegal fishing cases in the site.

IUCN was informed that the World Heritage Centre contacted the Permanent Delegation of the Philippines on 18 September 2002, requesting submission of a report in order to clarify the situation related to the illegal fishing activities in Tubbataha Reef Marine Park. A Centre staff member met with the site’s Director during a marine ecosystem workshop in the Philippines and the World Heritage Centre has been assured by the site Director that a report on this specific question of illegal fishing will be sent to the World Heritage Centre as soon as possible. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.11
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park (Philippines)

The World Heritage Committee [7],

1. Commends the State Party for actions taken to stop illegal fishing in the property while noting the need to ensure the full enforcement of the law in accordance with the World Heritage and National Park status of the property; 

1. Requests the State Party to submit a report to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2004, on the illegal fishing activities in the Sulu Sea and to prepare an analysis of its impact on the conservation of World Heritage in that ecosystem in order that the World Heritage Committee can examine the state of conservation of the property at its 28th session in 2004;

3. Encourages IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to co-operate with appropriate international, national and local partners to address questions relevant to illegal fishing in marine ecosystems and their implications for World Heritage conservation and to submit findings and recommendations for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session in 2004.

[7]  Decision adopted without discussion

Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 11

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the State Party for actions taken to stop illegal fishing in the site while noting the need to ensure the full enforcement of the law in accordance with the World Heritage and National Park status of the site,

2. Requests the State Party to submit a report, by 1 February 2004, on the illegal fishing activities in the Sulu Sea and to prepare an analysis of its impact on the conservation of World Heritage in that ecosystem,

3. Encourages IUCN and the World Heritage Centre to co-operate with appropriate international, national and local partners to address questions relevant to illegal fishing in marine ecosystems and their implications for World Heritage conservation and to submit findings and recommendations to its 28th session. 

Report year: 2003
Philippines
Date of Inscription: 1993
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(ix)(x)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)
Exports

* : 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”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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