State of Conservation (SOC)
Ha Long Bay (1999)
UNESCO Extra-Budgetary Funds
International Assistance granted to the property
Total Amount Ap proved:53,107USD
|1998||Geomorphology Study of the Ha Long Bay World Heritage area||8,857 USD|
|1997||Support to the Management Department of Ha Long Bay, Quang Ning ...||20,000 USD|
|1996||Management Planning for Sustainable Tourism at Ha Long Bay World ...||24,250 USD|
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
- New port is to be developed in the Bay
- License for a large floating hotel at the site
Current conservation issues
Twenty-second session of the Committee – Chapter VII. 27
Twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau – Chapter IV. 45
New information: Since the conclusion of the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau in July 1999, the Vietnam authorities, via their letter of 18 August 1999, have transmitted the following to the Centre:
· Two volumes of the EIA of the Bai Chay Bridge Construction Project which has been approved by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (MOSTE) of Vietnam ;
· A draft report on the study on « The Environmental Management for Ha Long Bay Project » jointly prepared by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA), MOSTE and the Quang Ninh Province Government.
These voluminous reports have been transmitted to IUCN for review. In addition, the Government of Vietnam has re-nominated the Ha Long Bay under natural heritage criterion (i). The re-nomination will be evaluated by IUCN in the year 2000 and a report submitted to the twenty-fourth ordinary session of the Bureau in mid-2000.
The World Bank Office in Vietnam has responded to the observations and recommendations of the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau, via a letter dated 19 August 1999, and has indicated that it intends to implement an augmented lending programme for Hai Phong – Ha Long improvement over the next few years in accordance with the Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy.
The letter from the Bank, as well as the IUCN report on the site highlights the Bank/IUCN co-operation to prepare a proposal for a GEF Block B grant to develop a marine management programme for the North Tonkin Archipelago, which includes Ha Long Bay. IUCN Vietnam has recruited a marine officer from one of the local institutions to assist with the development of this proposal. The project will implement an integrated management programme for the Archipelago which will lay the foundation for a model Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) programme for the region. The project, according to the letter from the Bank Office in Vietnam will provide for pilot scale development of methods of reducing pollutants carried into the Archipelago from agriculture, forestry, industrial and urban development activities in the Hai Phong and the Quang Ninh Provinces. IUCN has informed the Centre that Environment Australia and the Embassy of the Government of the Netherlands in Hanoi have also been approached in relation to support for this project. The latter has also been approached to support other projects, such as the implementation of a project to strengthen the capacity of the Ha Long Bay Management Department. They have expressed an interest in principle to offer support for both projects should the request come directly from the Vietnam Government. The World Bank Office in Vietnam has committed itself to « support and co-ordinate development and conservation activities made by UNESCO as well as by other donors in the World Heritage area » (quoted from the letter dated 19 August 1999 from the World Bank Office in Hanoi, Vietnam, to the Centre). The opening of a new UNESCO Office in Hanoi, Vietnam, in September 1999, will further facilitate co-ordination of activities in the Ha Long Bay World Heritage area and regular information gathering with a view to reporting to the Committee and Bureau sessions.
Link to the decision
X.28 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-99/CONF.209/6) included as Annex VIII to this report. Additional observations made during the Committee session are reflected below.
Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)
Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)
Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia)
The Delegate of Australia thanked IUCN for the consultative process started, which could be a model for other State Parties. He also informed the Committee that the area of marine protection around Macquerie Island had been extended and now comprises 16 million ha, the world's largest highly protected marine zone.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
The Delegate of Colombia informed the Committee that a visit by a delegation from the Ministry for Environment to Los Katios was recently carried out. The visit included areas that were previously not accessible. He emphasized that the proposal to grant collective land ownership over 100,000ha would be outside the Park in the buffer zone. He commented that his Government would be pleased to receive the visit of the monitoring mission to this site in 2000. The Colombian authorities have enhanced transboundary co-operation with Darien National Park (Panama) and strengthened the protected area system.
Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)
Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
The Observer of the United States underlined his Government's role in safeguarding Galapagos Islands and congratulated the Government of Ecuador on progress made. He noted the landmark decision of the Galapagos Law and questioned whether it had been implemented, in particular concerning the forty-mile zone. The Secretariat informed the Committee that some threats related to illegal fishing have been reported. IUCN noted the implementation of this pioneering legislation is vital and specific regulations need to be developed and implemented as soon as possible. The Delegate of Ecuador provided information from the Ministry of Environment noting progress concerning control of introduced species and general improvements in relation to biodiversity conservation at the site. Concerning the control of the 40-mile zone, she stated that the law has not yet been implemented, but that the basis for the conservation and environmental control is there. She thanked the Committee for all its efforts to safeguard the Galapagos.
Kaziranga National Park (India)
Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
Mount Kenya National Park (Kenya)
Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal)
The Observer of Nepal expressed his gratitude for the international support for the important project on tourism carried out at Sagarmatha National Park. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that it is a ground-breaking project.
Te Wahipounamu - South West New Zealand (New Zealand)
Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
The Delegate of Thailand noted the raised serious concerns raised by the Bureau regarding the management of this site, given the decline in numbers of the Arabian Oryx and the fact that the boundary marking and management planning is long overdue for completion. He recalled that the Committee inscribed the site without legislation and management plan in December 1994. He highlighted the Operational Guidelines in relation to the deletion of properties. The Delegate of Benin noted that rigour was not always applied in the past years and that a number of sites would not have been accepted if they were presented today. Concerning the question of deletion, a site would be put first on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Delegate of Thailand made it clear that he had not proposed the deletion of the site from the World Heritage List and that he was totally aware of the modalities in that respect. The Observer of the United Kingdom noted that similar problems concerned a number of sites and that these issues would certainly be dealt with by the periodic reporting process. IUCN pointed out that it had consistently raised concerns about this site. IUCN noted that legislation does not have effect if there is not sufficient resources for its implementation. The Chairperson reminded the Committee members about the rarity of Arab natural sites on the List. In concluding, the Chairperson thanked the Committee for the debate and noted that awareness needs to be raised in countries about the World Heritage Convention, its obligations and World Heritage values to be preserved for future generations, in particular among decision-makers. He thanked the Delegate of Thailand for his statement and encouraged the Committee to further reflect on how to enhance the protection of World Heritage sites.
Huascaran National Park (Peru)
Lake Baikal (Russian Federation)
The Observer of Russia requested that the information provided during the adoption of the report of the twenty-third extraordinary session of the Bureau on this site be included in the Bureau report.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)
Gough Island (United Kingdom)
Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park (United Republic of Tanzania)
Canaima National Park (Venezuela)
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)
The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
“The Bureau expresses its satisfaction with the commitment of the World Bank Office in Hanoi, Vietnam, to co-ordinate conservation and development activities in the Ha Long Bay World Heritage area. The Bureau invites the State Party to use the rising donor interest to support the conservation of the Ha Long Bay World Heritage area and implement measures, in particular, to upgrade the profile, authority and the capacity of the Ha Long Bay Management Department which has the principal responsibility to manage the World Heritage area as a coastal and marine protected area located in an area of intensive economic development. The Bureau invites the State Party to submit annual reports to the extraordinary sessions of the Bureau, highlighting in particular, measures that are being taken to build capacity for the management of the site and monitor the environment of Ha Long Bay in accordance with internationally acceptable standards and norms applicable to a coastal and marine protected area.”
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The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).