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Ha Long Bay

Viet Nam
Factors affecting the property in 1998*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Marine transport infrastructure
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
International Assistance: requests for the property until 1998
Requests approved: 3 (from 1996-1998)
Total amount approved : 53,107 USD
Missions to the property until 1998**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1998

The Bureau may wish to recall that at its twenty-first session (June 1997), 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. This study was to be undertaken in preparation for the implementation of the JICA financed Cailan Port construction project. A draft of the scope of work for the environmental study was provided to a Centre staff member by the Head of the Ha Long Bay Management Department during an Asia-Pacific Site Managers workshop held in Thailand in January 1998. 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 note covering the entire loan portfolio for the construction of this bridge is expected to be signed by OECF, Japan and the Government of Vietnam, and the development assistance project includes a feasibility study as well as an environmental impact assessment of the bridge construction project.

Action Required
The Bureau requests the Centre and IUCN to maintain contact with the Vietnam authorities in order to monitor progress and the outcome of the Japan/Vietnam environmental study and the EIA of the Cailan Port construction project, as well as feasibility studies and EIAs that may be undertaken in connection with the Bai Chay Bridge construction project and provide a report to the next session of the Committee.

22nd extraordinary session of the Bureau in 1998:

At its twenty-second ordinary session (June 1998), the Bureau noted that the study on environmental management for Ha Long Bay, designed and implemented by Vietnam and JICA, commenced in February 1998 and is expected to proceed until October 1999. This study will run parallel to the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Cailan Port construction project. The Bureau was also informed of 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. A loan agreement for providing engineering services for the construction of this bridge was signed, in March 1998, by OECF, Japan, and the Government of Vietnam and includes a feasibility study as well as an environmental impact assessment of the bridge construction project.

In response to the Bureau’s request for information made at its twenty-second ordinary session in June 1998, the Vietnam authorities have provided the following:
(a) an “explanation report” of the Bai Chay bridge construction project;
(b) detailed technical study outline report on the study on environmental management for Ha Long Bay;
(c) report on Engineering Services and EIA for the Bai Chay Bay bridge construction project; and
(d) report on the feasibility study on the Bai Chay bridge construction project.

All these reports have been transmitted to IUCN for review.

The National Commission of UNESCO, and the IUCN Office, in Vietnam, are jointly implementing a project, approved by the Chairperson of the Committee, to study the geomorphological, particularly the karst, features of the Ha Long Bay. One of the expected outcomes of the project is a possible re-nomination of the World Heritage site under natural heritage criterion (i); at present Ha Long Bay is recognised as World Heritage solely under natural heritage criterion (iii).

The World Bank Office in Hanoi has transmitted to the Centre information concerning an expert mission it fielded in early October 1998 and its plans for organizing a donor conference in December 1998 on the environmental aspects of the Regional Development of Quanh Ninh-Hai Phong, including the conservation of Ha Long Bay.

Decision required: The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:
“The Bureau urges the Centre and IUCN maintain contact with all donors and international agencies to continue monitoring the impacts of the development of the Quanh Ninh-Hai Phong Region on the integrity of the Ha Long Bay World Heritage area. The Bureau requests the Centre and IUCN to provide a state of conservation report on Ha Long Bay, taking into consideration the large volume of information provided by the State Party and the outcome of donor funded studies and conferences, to the twenty-third session of the Committee in 1999.” 



Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1998

At its twenty-second ordinary session (June 1998) the Bureau noted that the study on environmental management for Ha Long Bay designed and implemented by Vietnam and JICA, commenced in February 1998 and is expected to proceed until October 1999. This study will run parallel to the Environmental Impact Assessment of the Cailan Port construction project. The Bureau was also informed of 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. A loan agreement for providing engineering services for the construction of this bridge was signed, in March 1998, by OECF, Japan, and the Government of Vietnam and includes a feasibility study as well as an environmental impact assessment of the bridge construction project.

The Vietnam authorities have provided an “explanation report” of the Bai Chay Bridge construction project, a detailed technical study outline report on the environmental management for Ha Long Bay, a report on Engineering Services and EIA for the Bai Chay Bay Bridge construction project; and a report on the feasibility study on the Bai Chay Bridge construction project. Furthermore, a report of a project, jointly implemented by the UNESCO National Commission and IUCN Vietnam on a study of the geomorphology of Ha Long Bay, focusing in particular on karst features, has also been received. The Bureau furthermore noted that an East Asia meeting on impacts of limestone quarrying on biodiversity and cultural heritage (23-29 January), and a national conference on the development of the Quang Ninh Phong Region (April) are planned for 1999. They are expected to generate new information relevant to the conservation of Ha Long Bay. In addition, preliminary results of the Environmental Study on Ha Long Bay are also expected to be released before the end of 1998.

The Bureau urged the Centre and IUCN to liaise with donors and international agencies in order to obtain all information resulting from on-going studies and proposed conferences and meetings scheduled for 1999 and undertake a thorough review of the large volume of data contained in the reports submitted by the Government of Vietnam. The Bureau requests the Centre and IUCN to provide a state of conservation report on Ha Long Bay to the twenty-third session of the Committee in 1999. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1998
22 BUR V.B.34
Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

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.

22 COM VII.27
Reports on the State of Conservation of Natural Properties Noted by the Committee

VII.27 The Committee noted the decisions of the twenty-second extraordinary session of the Bureau as reflected in the Report of the Bureau session (Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/5) and included in Annex IV on the following properties:

  • Heard and McDonald Islands (Australia)
  • Shark Bay, Western Australia (Australia)
  • Wet Tropics of Queensland (Australia)
  • Belovezhskaya Pushcha/Bialowieza Forest (Belarus/Poland)
  • Iguacu National Park (Brazil)
  • Dja Faunal Reserve (Cameroon)
  • Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (Canada)
  • Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area (China)
  • Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area (China)
  • Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area (China)
  • Los Katios National Park (Colombia)
  • Morne Trois Pitons National Park (Dominica)
  • Nanda Devi National Park (India)
  • Whale Sanctuary of El Viscaino (Mexico)
  • Royal Chitwan National Park (Nepal)
  • Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal)
  • Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (Oman)
  • Huascaran National Park (Peru)

The Committee noted that the Bureau's decision reflected the suggestion to establish an informal contact group on mining and World Heritage and that the IUCN "Draft Policy on Mining and Protected Areas" will be circulated.

  • Kamchatka Volcanoes (Russian Federation)
  • Virgin Komi Forests (Russian Federation)
  • Skocjan Caves (Slovenia)
  • Thung Yai-Huay Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries (Thailand)
  • St. Kilda (United Kingdom)
  • Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)
  • Durmitor National Park (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)

The Committee noted the UN official name for the State Party: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

  • Mosi-oa-Tunya/Victoria Falls (Zambia/Zimbabwe)

No draft Decision

Report year: 1998
Viet Nam
Date of Inscription: 1994
Category: Natural
Criteria: (vii)(viii)
Exports

* : 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”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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