Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, 10 January 2016 – The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with Bhaya Group, Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Ltd., and the Ha Long City People’s Committee organised a coastal clean-up called “Alliance’s action for a Green Ha Long” as part of the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance, a three-year initiative financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
This coastal clean-up follows the first in June 2016. The second clean-up attracted the participation of more than 100 volunteers from various sectors including students, businesses, NGOs, government agencies and the U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius. Representatives from Ha Long Bay Management Board, USAID, Indochina Junk, Greenhub, Center for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD), Center for Environment and Community Research (CECR), and Live & Learn attended the event as well.
The event aimed to raise awareness of the vital need to improve environmental protection in Vietnam, and especially in the Ha Long Bay World Heritage Site, to maintain the quality of tourist destinations that create jobs and generate significant state revenue, and to promote green practices from businesses. The results from the clean-up will be posted on the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) website.
With USAID support, the Ha Long-Cat Ba Alliance was established in 2014 to build a partnership between government, business, and community leaders to catalyse action to preserve and protect Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Archipelago. In 2015, the Alliance formed a business-led Leadership Committee, which is working to advance a sustainable tourism certification standard for cruise boat companies and provide technical advice to UNESCO on the management of Ha Long Bay as well as the proposed addition of the Cat Ba Archipelago to the Ha Long Bay World Heritage Site.
To lead the alliance, USAID has awarded grants to IUCN and to MCD, a local Vietnamese NGO. IUCN serves as the Alliance secretariat and catalyses business investment in environmental protection while MCD focuses on local stakeholder engagement and strengthening the capacity for improved natural resource management, especially in fisheries and aquaculture.