Workshop seeks ways to conserve Ha Long Bay

A workshop was held in the northern province of Quang Ninh on November 1 to seek ways to sustainably conserve and promote the value of Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO-recognised World Heritage site.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Vu Thi Thu Thuy said strategies and projects on the conservation have been carried out actively over 20 years since the bay gained the recognition in 1994. They have well preserved the bay’s special and unique values while making full use of its potential and advantages to develop tourism and services sectors, contributing to the locality’s economic growth.

However, President of the National Cultural Heritage Council Luu Tran Tieu noted that besides socio-economic benefits, tourism also causes negative impact on the environment, landscapes and ecosystem in the region. 

He emphasised the need for sustainable tourism management plans, including making tourist forecasts, studying tourism’s impacts on the site as well as the site’s capacity of serving visitors. 

Meanwhile, Nguyen Viet Cuong from the Cultural Heritage Department suggested Quang Ninh continue implementing the 2010-2020 fisheries development and protection master plan, which aims to relocate floating fishing villages in the bay and rearrange aquaculture farms. 

The province should intensify education and communication works to attract more locals to take part in conservation work, and strengthen international cooperation in this field, he added. 

On December 17, 1994, UNESCO designated the bay a World Heritage site of globally outstanding value in terms of natural landscape. The recognition was extended in 2000, and one year later, Ha Long Bay outranked 261 other landscapes around the globe to become one of the seven new natural wonders of the world. 

Since becoming the world heritage site, Ha Long Bay has welcomed nearly 25 million visitors, contributing to turning Quang Ninh province into a tourism magnet.