Tourist ships on Ha Long Bay (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – The third leadership committee meeting of the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance took place in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, on July 6 in an efforts to enhance environmental management and protection in Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba archipelago, the two tourist magnets in the north of Vietnam.

The function was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People’s Committees of Hai Phong city (home to Cat Ba archipelago) and neighbouring Quang Ninh province (home to Ha Long Bay), the UN Agency for International Development (USAID), the UNESCO, and the alliance’s members.

Delegates assessed the discharge of waste from tourist boats and its impacts on the environment in Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba. They suggested several waste management solutions such as collecting environmental protection fees on the use of plastic bags, restricting the use of foam lifebuoys, and equipping tourist boats with waste and waste water collection and treatment systems.

The Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance, initiated in 2014 with USAID’s financial support, aims to create a cooperation mechanism among the State, businesses and local communities so as to boost environmental protection in Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Cat Ba archipelago.

It set up the leadership committee in 2015 with a view to enhancing businesses’ engagement. The committee focuses on boosting tourist ship companies’ sustainable tourism practices and assisting UNESCO in managing Ha Long Bay and the proposed inclusion of Cat Ba in Ha Long World Heritage Site.-VNA