Nguyen Chu Hoi

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Cat Ba and Long Chau archipelagos are naturally connected with the islands in Ha Long bay (HLB) and Bai Tu Long bay (BTLB) to form a "unique cluster of limestone islands" not only in Vietnam’s sea but also worlwide with recognized global and national heritage values. However, the limestone islands cluster is separated by two administratively different bodies: Cat Ba and Long Chau archipelagos belong to Haiphong city, and HLB - BTLB to Quang Ninh province.

From a national perspecive, the above-mentioned limestone islands cluster, with its uniqueness, multiple-use, and connectivity with comparative advantages of conservative values and potentials for conservation-based economy development, brings prosperity and sustainability not only to Quang Ninh province and Hai Phong city, but also to the country and mankind. Therefore, based on an integrated approach and at the request of Vietnam, in 2015, the "HLB – Cat Ba limestone island marine area" was approved as an "Ecologically and Biologically Significant Marine Area" (EBSA) by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat’s meeting in Xiamen (China). The paper recommends the expansion of Ha Long Bay World Natural Heritage to include all the limestone islands in the coastal waters with the recommendation of managing the limestone islands in an integrated manner.