The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held the fourth meeting in the northern port city of Hai Phong on May 5th to update the progress of drafting dossiers re-applying for UNESCO’s recognition of Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh with an extended area to Cat Ba archipelago of Hai Phong as World Natural Heritage site.
Ha Long Bay (Photo: VNA)
The meeting, held within the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance Initiative funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), also discussed measures to strengthen the management and protection of environment in the site in the new period.
Earlier in January, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism submitted information of the expanded site to the UNESCO’S World Heritage Centre, asking for the addition of the site to the list of planned heritage sites.
The People’s Committee of Hai Phong is also scheduled to submit a draft application to the ministry in September this year. Final dossiers are expected to be submitted to the UNESCO in February 1, 2018.
The second phase of the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance Initiative in the 2017-2019 period was also debated.
The initiative was launched in 2014 with an aim of building a cooperation mechanism between the government, businesses and local community, thus promoting activities of preserving and protecting the environment at Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba archipelago.
In 2015, the alliance formed a management board to strengthen the engagement of enterprises in tackling some environmental issues related to firms providing cruise services, while giving technical support to the UNESCO in the management of Ha Long Bay and proposing the expansion of the already recognised World Natural Heritage Site that includes Cat Ba archipelago.
In the second phase, the USAID will continue providing financial assistance to the IUCN to encourage the involvement of enterprises in preserving and protecting the site and as well as assist the government in designing policies to promote the activities.
The USAID will also help Vietnam re-apply for Ha Long Bay’s World Natural Heritage Site for the third time, aiming to positively impact the management of the environment in the site./.