For A Green Halong Bay
Currently, the World Heritage site – Halong Bay is seriously damaged human activities in the pursuit of short-term economic goals. The question is what we can do to save Halong Bay before it comes to the edge of no turning back. A new study appeared in the journal Biological Conservation warns that more than 100 natural World Heritage sites are being severely destroyed by intensive human activities. The study was conducted by an international team of researchers from the University of Queensland, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), University of Northern British Columbia and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Each natural world heritage site contains the Earth’s most valuable natural arrest, and therefore is unique and irreplaceable. The lead author James Allan from the University of Queensland urged that: “It is time for the global community to stand up and hold governments to account so that they take the conservation of natural World Heritage sites seriously.” The same problem happens to many natural sites in Vietnam due to the rapid development of hotels, resorts, cruises, and cable car for tourism purpose. While the economic benefit that tourism brings to Vietnam is undeniable, it also comes with many devastating consequences. Halong Bay – twice recognized as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO is now facing serious environment issues from the development of coal industry, daily living activities of local citizen and unstructured development of tourism. Every day, the bay receives thousands of tourists worldwide, the fleet of endless cruise ships comes back and forth from 2 main harbors of Halong Bay. The impact of tourism and economic development on Ha Long Bay has long caused concern among environmentalists.
Things can be changed
“The environment of Halong bay has been worsened comparing to its condition 10 years ago since we started Indochina Junk company”, Mr. Đoàn Văn Dũng – Chairman of Indochina Junk said. He also shared that the company has focused on sustainable tourism development since 2007 and will continue to invest more in protecting the environment of Halong Bay. Mrs. To Kim Tuyen – Director of Sale and Marketing of Oriental Lotus Travel said: “You cannot blind customers by your greenwashing marketing campaigns, they want to know and join your actions. It is time for companies take the environment issue seriously and carry out purposeful projects for the conservation of Halong Bay, otherwise, the companies themselves are the ones who will be affected the most from losing customers.” It becomes common that tourists come to Halong bay, instead of enjoying peaceful kayaking through the limestone terrain, they passionately sail and collect rubbish from the ocean. What is strange is that customers are more than happy joining this activity. Indochina Junk, a leading company in promoting sustainable tourism in Halong bay, is a very first company organizing a program called “For a green Halong Bay”, in which customers join with cruise members kayaking and collecting rubbish from the bay. The company also commits for every customer who books a tour, $3 is donated to sustainable programs. From Justine Rose & Chris Cheyette, who recently traveled to Halong bay: “We weren’t going to visit Halong Bay due to the issues we had read about with irresponsible tour operators, and the mounting piles of rubbish. Then Chris found your website and we took a risk that it was not greenwashing! “…”So it was a huge relieved to discover Indochina Junk IS really doing things differently”. In 2007 Indochina-Junk started Garbage collection project with supports from visitors and staff. – In 2014, more than 13,000 Kg rubbish was collected while more than 25,000 kg rubbish was collected in 2015 and 24638 kg rubbish was collected in 2016. More than 13,649 kg rubbish was collected in the first 9 months of 2017.