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World Cultural Heritage

The process of recognition of Halong Bay as a World Natural Heritage Area
On 17th December, 1994, the World Heritage Committee officially recognized Ha Long Bay as a World Natural Heritage Area at its 18th session in Phu Ket, Thailand, because of its universal aesthetic value according to criteria of the Convention.
The process of recognition of Halong Bay as a World Natural Heritage Area

The first time:

World Cultural HeritageOn 21st December, 1991, The Government of Vietnam permitted the setting up a of file on Ha Long Bay to be submitted to UNESCO for recognition of Ha Long Bay as a World Heritage Site. During the two year period 1991 to 1993, UNESCO nominated many expert delegations to come to Quang Ninh to survey, research, guide and review the ongoing file. Ha Long Bay’s file was completed and sent to UNESCO, Paris, for consideration in 1993, to be addressed at the 18th session.

On 17th December, 1994, the World Heritage Committee officially recognized Ha Long Bay as a World Natural Heritage Area at its 18th session in Phu Ket, Thailand, because of its universal aesthetic value according to criteria (iii) of the Convention.

The second time:

World Cultural HeritageAt the request of Ha Long Bay Management Department and IUCN, in September 1998, Prof. Tony Waltham, the top expert on Geology of Trent University, Nottingham, conducted a survey of the limestone karst of Ha Long Bay. He submitted his report to UNESCO Paris and Switzerland, IUCN Offices (Ha Noi) and to the Ha Long Bay Management Department. As a result, on 25th February, 1999, the World Heritage Center requested Quang Ninh People’s Committee, Vietnam’s National Commission for UNESCO and the Ha Long Bay Management Department to prepare a file to submit to UNESCO for the inscription of Ha Long Bay’s outstanding values of geology and geomorphology.

In July 1999, the file was completed and sent to the World Heritage Center’s Office in Paris. In December 1999, at the 23rd Congress of UNESCO held in Marakesh, Morocco, UNESCO officially considered the file. In March 2000 Professor Ellery Hamilton Smith, a member of IUCN was delegated to come to Ha Long to check the validity of the file and its geological value and to evaluate the management situation and make recommendations. In July 2000, at its mid-year meeting, the World Heritage Center, Paris, officially proposed that the World Heritage Committee recognize Ha Long Bay as a World Natural Heritage Site for its universal values of geology and geomorphology.

On 2nd December, 2000, at the 24th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, the World Heritage Committee unanimously decided to recognize the universal geological value of Ha Long Bay for the second time according to criteria (i) of the International Convention on the Protection of the World National and Cultural Heritage.

Do you know ?

  • Halong Bay Located in the northeastern part of Vietnam and constitutes part of the western bank of Bac Bo Gulf, including the sea area of Ha Long City and Cam Pha Town and part of Van Don island district. It abuts Cat Ba Island in the southwest.
  • Halong Bay has twice been recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Area for its exceptional scenic beauty and outstanding geological and geomorphic values.

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