Endangered species and breath-taking landscapes in the Hin Nam No National protected area in Laos are looking into a brighter future.
By the end of July, the IP Consult team of the “Integrated Nature Conservation & Sustainable Resource Management in the Hin Nam No Region” Project finally received good news: The official request for tentative listing of the “Hin Nam No National Protected Area (NPA)” to become the first natural World Heritage Site of Laos had officially been submitted to the UNESCO Headquarter in Paris.
Located in Central Laos and close to the border of Vietnam where the Central Indochina Limestone meets the Annamite Mountain Chain, Hin Nam No is probably one of the most significant karst areas in Southeast Asia together with world renowned sites like Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Philippines, and National Park Lorentz in Indonesia.
IP Consult has worked under the bilateral Lao German Development Cooperation for GIZ and is supporting the Government of the Lao PDR in the establishment of a comanagement system for this National Protected Area. The conclusion was evident: Hin Nam No NPA has global significance and outstanding universal value for the evolution of its complex and spectacular karst landscape and its variety of habitats that support high biodiversity, including a number of globally threatened as well as endemic species.
In particular, Hin Nam No NPA contains 7 species of primates, 5 of which are globally threatened. The Red-shanked Douc Langur and the Southern White-cheeked Gibbon are charismatic ‘flagship’ species of Hin Nam No NPA. Together with the Hathin Langur they are globally endangered, and the Hin Nam No area harbours the largest and one of the last viable populations of these endangered langurs, four species of hornbills and many other endangered plants and animals.
Besides this amazing biodiversity, the Hin Nam No area is one of the most complex karst landforms on earth with a high geological diversity and many geomorphic features of global significance. This provides the Hin Nam No area with one of the most stunning mountain sceneries and the oldest large limestone karst formations in South East Asia as well as the presumably most extensive cave system on earth.