Monday, 08/05/2017 09:59

Việt Nam preparing for UNESCO’s recognition for Hạ Long-Cát Bà

Cat Ba archipelago covers an area of more than 320sq km with 388 islands and islets. –VNA/VNS Photo Quang Quyet
Viet Nam News

HAI PHONG — Viet Nam will submit an application for UNESCO recognition of the famed Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island as an expanded World Heritage Site by February next year.

This was announced at the fourth leadership committee meeting of the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance, an initiative launched by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which was held in Hai Phong port city on May 5.

The meeting discussed dossier preparation and environmental management of Ha Long-Cat Ba site with the participation of Hai Phong city and Quang Ninh province leaders, representatives of the Ha Long management board; IUCN; USAID; Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project and UNESCO heritage representatives in Viet Nam.

In 2014, Cat Ba was nominated as a world heritage site but it failed to be recognised. This time, they will reapply to be considered as an extension of Ha Long Bay.

Cat Ba archipelago covers an area of more than 320sq km with 388 islands and islets. In 2004, it was recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Cat Ba is home to more than 3,800 animal and plant species. Among them, 137 were recognised as rare and precious species and listed in Viet Nam’s Red Book.

Hai Phong city is leading the preparation of the dossier to be presented in September as a draft by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Culture to UNESCO for review, prior to submission of the final version in February next year.

“Amist the trend of increasing cooperation between localities for further development, Hai Phong city and Quang Ninh province have strengthened regional linkage and together created an economic, social and cultural development corridor as well as preserved and exploited the unique values of Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago, making local tourism the spearhead economic sector and ensuring the sustainability,” said Deputy Chairman of Hai Phong city’s People’s Committee, Le Khac Nam.

“Biodiversity conservation is the central component of achieving sustainable resilient development. Human wellbeing and economic progress depend on the health of that eco system,” said Deputy Director of USAID Viet Nam, Craig Hart.

"With top tourism destination status, come both challenges and opportunities. We need to work together to handle these challenges. With local organisations, businesses and government together, we can achieve real change and positive impacts," said Hart.

“We look forward to providing two international specialists next month and want to be part of the team to travel around and provide technical assistance [which is needed for renomination dossier preparation], as well as address some issues [related to environmental management in the area],” IUCN Viet Nam’s programme coordinator, Jake Brunner, told Viet Nam News.

USAID has continued its funding for IUCN to enhance business engagement in protecting and preserving the heritage site. The Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance was established in 2014 with USAID help to build a partnership between government, business and community leaders to to preserve and protect Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago. — VNS


Comments (0)

Related content