The workshop was part of the Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba Alliance Initiative, funded by the US Agency for International Cooperation (USAID).
According to deputy head of the Ha Long Bay Management Board Nguyen Huyen Anh, as of late 2018, there were around 500 ships operating in Ha Long Bay, including over 160 overnight ships, and 121 vessels operating around the Cat Ba archipelago, including 59 overnight boats.
In recent times, local authorities have made strides to tighten management over wastewater from tourism boats and activities. However, this kind of pollution remains a huge challenge for Quang Ninh and Hai Phong city.
Jake Brunner, IUCN Chief Representative in Vietnam, stated that as a requirement of Quang Ninh province’s People’s Committee, the IUCN sent an advisory mission to Ha Long Bay to support sustainable tourism management and environmental protection at Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba archipelago last July.
The advisory mission had expressed their concern over the projected growth of visitors to the site and concluded that ineffective management of visitors and waste will cause a significant threat to the outstanding universal value of the area, Brunner added.
At the workshop, participants discussed technology and management solutions, and shared information about modern wastewater treatment technologies which meet national technical standards and regulations on the environmental protection of Quang Ninh and Hai Phong.