Authorities in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh plan to adjust the Ha Long Bay buffer zone to make it easier to manage and preserve the world natural heritage site.

Accordingly, authorities intend to narrow the boundaries by removing urban and tourism development areas from the zone.

Recently, a series of projects related to urban and tourism development and mining have been carried out at the boundaries of the Bay’s buffer zone, creating challenges for management of the area.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Doc stressed the need for better management of the heritage’s 430 square kilometres core area and to re-examine the feasibility of managing the buffer zone.

He said the adjustments to the buffer zone are considered a small change to its boundary and that the locality’s adjustment plan will be announced to UNESCO for approval.

Ha Long Bay, which spans 1,553 square kilometres and includes 1,969 islands of various sizes, was twice recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and 2000.

In 2011, Ha Long Bay outranked 261 other landscapes from around the world to be voted one of the seven New Natural Wonders of the World.

It has also recently been listed in the 20 geological wonders of the world by travel guide website Rough Guides.

The bay is an iconic destination for visitors to Quang Ninh province, with its rich biodiversity, stunning beauty, and significant historical and cultural value.-VNA