Development imperils Viet Nam’s World Heritage sites: UNESCO

Viet Nam’s Hue and Ha Long Bay have been included on a list of 130 World Heritage sites encountering critical preservation issues, the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has said.


During its 31st session, the World Heritage Committee said Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh was facing a population boom, increasing pressure from tourism, rapid industrial and urban development, and the lack of a master development plan for the bay.

UNESCO’s committee instructed local authorities to resolve these issues, including creating a better master plan for the development of Ha Long Bay and the surrounding areas so that population growth, tourism and industrial development would not adversely affect preservation.

The committee also asked the Quang Ninh authority to ban the operation of jet-skis in the centre of Ha Long Bay, to reject plans to develop resorts in Lam Bo Island, and plan for infrastructure development in Cua Van Fishing Village.

The committee noted that transport infrastructure and new construction sites newly built inside and around the Royal Citadel of Hue and urban development in the former royal city and its surrounding areas could have an impact o­n the preservation of the city of Hue, which is also a World Heritage site.

According to the Hue Centre for Monument Conservation, the committee praised the city authority’s effort to preserve the site, especially the plan to resettle households now living o­n the top of the Imperial Walls.

But it also instructed the city authority to pay attention to the living standards of the residents affected by the resettlement plan.

A 13-member delegation from Viet Nam attended the 31st UNESCO session held in Christchurch, New Zealand from June 23 to July 2.

The Vietnamese delegation included representatives of UNESCO Viet Nam Committee and provinces with World Heritage sites and their management boards, such as the Hue Centre for Monument Conservation and the Ha Long Bay Management Board