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VietNamNet Bridge - Within three hours, more than 100 volunteers from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) recently collected 2.5 tons of waste on Ang Du Beach of Ha Long Bay.


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It's estimated that 502 cubic meters of waste water is discharged from tourism boats



It is estimated that 502 cubic meters of waste water is discharged from tourism boats in Ha Long Bay every day. IUCN estimated that Vietnam needs $3.1 million to install a waste water treatment system in the area.

What’s happening in Ha Long Bay?

The good news about the increased number of travelers to Ha Long Bay has been overshadowed by the bad news about the high volume of waste water and garbage, and poor water quality.

IUCN has been patrolling the area regularly to discover, prevent and control the waste sources which affect the bay’s water environment, including untreated waste water, oil spill accidents, and aquatic creature exploitation.

Waste collection at excursion points and on the shore is carried out regularly. In 2017 alone, 2,102 tons of waste was collected by organizations and agencies.

Pham Dinh Huynh, deputy head of the Ha Long Bay Management Board, said that environmental protection is one of the top priorities to preserve natural heritage sites 

Treatment of waste water, garbage and protecting the environment is becoming increasingly important.  Ha Long Bay is seeking recognition as the world’s natural heritage.

Treatment of waste water, garbage and protecting the environment is becoming increasingly important.  Ha Long Bay is seeking recognition as the world’s natural heritage.

Noting the illegal construction of a concrete road in the Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO recognized heritage, Pham Thi Thanh Huong from UNESCO Vietnam pointed out that this is the result of bad policy which calls for such recognition as a way of boosting the economy.

Instead, the most important goal of getting heritage sites recognized is protecting heritage for future generations, he said.

In the case of Trang An, 2,000 stairs and one kilometer of concrete road have been illegally built in the natural heritage site.

Huong said what happened with Trang An is a precious lesson for Ha Long and Cat Ba. 

“Ironically, when heritage sites bring trillions of dong in revenue to localities, the management boards of the heritage sites cannot allocate a budget for biodiversity supervision,” she said.

Specialists from the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance estimate that the initial investment for a waste water treatment system is $3.1 million, while the cost to operate the system would be $251 a day. 

The investment capital could be recovered within five years from fee collections if the fee is $3.4 per cubic meter.

Nguyen Duy Phu, chair of Pelican Ha Long Cruise, believes the amount of capital needed to treat waste water on cruises is much higher than $3.1 million.


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Mai Chi

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