Bai Tu Long National Park recognised as ASEAN Heritage Park

Friday, 2017-05-19 20:24:58
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At the ceremony to receive the ASEAN Heritage Park title for Bai Tu Long National Park.
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NDO – The Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee, in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held a ceremony in Ha Long city on May 19 to receive a certificate recognising Bai Tu Long National Park as the 38th Heritage Park of ASEAN.

The event was organised to coincide with the celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22) and the World Migratory Bird Day (May 10).

The ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme was first initiated in 2002 by the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity.

Bai Tu Long is Vietnam’s sixth national park to receive the title, after Ba Be (Bac Kan province), Hoang Lien (Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces), Kon Ka Kinh (Gia Lai province), Chu Mom Ray (Kon Tum province) and U Minh Thuong (Kien Giang province).

It fully satisfies the six criteria of an ASEAN Heritage Park, including ecological integrity, symbolism, natural features, high conservation value, management and preservation plan, and legality.

Over the past years, the conservation centre of Bai Tu Long National Park has salvaged, taken care of and released over 200 animal individuals and five sea turtles back into the wild on Ba Mun Island. It has also collaborated with many international organisations to implement a number of projects in the preservation of sea turtles, biodiversity management and preservation capacity building, and development of community-based ecotourism.

Addressing the ceremony, MONRE Deputy Minister Nguyen Linh Ngoc noted that realising the importance of biodiversity, the Vietnamese government has taken drastic actions in recent years to boost conservation work. So far, 43 cities and provinces across the country have built and implemented action programmes on biodiversity, while 16 have built and issued provincial-level biodiversity conservation plans. Vietnam has many significant preservation areas recognised by the international community, including eight Ramsar wetland sites, nine world biosphere reserves, two world heritage sites, six ASEAN Heritage Parks, and 63 critical bird areas globally announced by the BirdLife International.

Aiming to facilitate biodiversity conservation work, Ngoc called on the community to raise awareness of the significance, value and role of biodiversity, biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism in boosting socio-economic development; to accelerate communication on the implementation of laws on biodiversity conservation; to launch movements for environmental protection and the economic use of natural resources.

Under the framework of the event, the MONRE also held a seminar on biodiversity and sustainable tourism. Participants discussed the contents of tourism development associated with biodiversity conservation in Quang Ninh; the values of biodiversity in sustainable development in Ha Long Bay, and the Bai Tu Long National Park with biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism.