Picture Ly Son Island, Vietnam credit Zc D. Gyu Photography on flickr
Plans to gain UNESCO Geopark status for Ly Son-Sa Huynh may be shelved by Vietnamese authorities.
UNESCO global geoparks are areas with geology and geomorphology of international significance.
The project was launched in 2015 and surveys and research costing VND20 billion (approx £634,620 / US$870,000) has since been spent.
Originally called the Binh Chau-Ly Son Global Geopark, Quang Ngai province salvaged many ancient ships from around Ly Son Island, which is famous for its volcanic heritage and a long history of protecting the country’s sovereignty.
Then in 2017 they established the Ly Son-Sa Huynh Geopark management board with the aim of gaining UNESCO global geopark status to promote Quang Ngai’s socio-economic development, especially tourism.
In 2019 the board concluded that Ly Son Island and its neighboring areas on the mainland were too small for the park and expanded the area. Later that year an application was sent to UNESCO for recognition which passed the preliminary stage in spring last year. A final decision was due in late 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.
However the governing board has now decided that the benefits may not be as significant as originally hoped.
“After reviewing the project, the People’s Committee thinks that the socio-economic efficiency of the geopark is not evident. It is not as if we have to implement this project at any cost.”Dang Van Minh, Chairman of the Quang Ngai People’s Committee
Vietnam already has three UNESCO recognised global geoparks, Dong Van in Ha Giang Province, Non Nuoc Cao Bang in Cao Bang Province and Dak Nong in the central highlands.
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