On May 5, in Ha Long City, Ambassador Ted Osius delivered opening remarks at the First Leadership Committee meeting of the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance.
During the meeting a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee, the Hai Phong City People’s Committee, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which confirms the shared goals of the Ha Long – Cat Ba Alliance. The Alliance, a public-private initiative funded by the U.S. Government, has developed a Leadership Committee of government and business leaders to foster multi-sector cooperation for the conservation of the World Heritage Ha Long Bay and the Cat Ba Archipelago.
This meeting and establishment of a Leadership Committee is an important step for the Alliance since the Committee will be responsible for defining a vision for the Alliance, debating key policy issues, and providing strategic advice to the Secretariat. In the future the Leadership Committee is expected to meet twice a year in Quang Ninh and Hai Phong and may establish Working Groups to address specific topics relevant to the Alliance.
Quang Ninh and Hai Phong have an important role in the management of World Heritage Ha Long Bay and the Cat Ba Archipelago, which together form a single marine ecosystem requiring cooperative management that crosses provincial boundaries.
The U.S. Government has provided Alliance funding support through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and has made two grants totaling $970,000 to IUCN as well as to the Centre for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD), a local Vietnamese NGO, to help organize public and private partners as well as grassroots organizations to protect and restore the environment in Halong Bay. IUCN serves as Alliance Secretariat and catalyzes 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.
Read the Ambassador’s remarks here.