The Bureau recalled that at its twenty-first session, it urged the Vietnam authorities to co-operate with the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) in designing and implementing the study on environmental management for Ha Long Bay. A draft of the scope of work for the environmental study was provided to the World Heritage Centre by the Head of the Ha Long Bay Management Department. The draft has been transmitted to IUCN for information, review and comments. The study on environmental management for Ha Long Bay is to be carried out from February 1998 to October 1999.
UNDP/Vietnam has provided the Centre with the minutes of two donor meetings concerning Ha Long Bay. In the first of those meetings held on 9 October 1997, the minutes indicate that a representative from the Japanese Embassy in Hanoi had pointed out that the environmental study is expected to run parallel to the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Cailan Port construction project.
At a second meeting held at the UNDP Resident Representative’s Office, in Hanoi, on 27 February, information concerning negotiations between Vietnam and Japan for the construction of the Bai Chay Bridge, expected to link Bai Chay beach to Ha Long City across the Bai Chay Bay, had been made available. A loan agreement for engineering services for the construction of this bridge was signed by OECF, Japan and the Government of Vietnam in March 1998, and includes a feasibility study as well as an environmental impact assessment of the bridge construction project.
The Bureau requested the Centre and IUCN to maintain contact with the Vietnam authorities in order to monitor progress. The outcome of the Japan/Vietnam environmental study and the EIA of the Cailan Port construction project, as well as information on engineering services and EIAs that may be undertaken in connection with the Bai Chay Bridge construction project should be monitored and a report provided to the next session of the Committee.