UNESCO announced the new inscription of the Vietnamese site to the list at the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at 9:39 pm (Vietnam time), on the same day.
The 45th session, reviewing the sites nominated for the World Heritage List, was attended by Associate Professor Dr. Le Thi Thu Hien, head of the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, head of the Permanent Mission of Vietnam to UNESCO.
Cat Ba Archipelago in Hai Phong, a major port city in northern Vietnam, is the largest limestone archipelago in the country. It includes over 360 islands, including Cat Ba Island to the south of Ha Long Bay. The archipelago had earlier been recognised by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve, the government news site baochinhphu.vn reported.
Meanwhile, Ha Long Bay in neighbouring Quang Ninh Province was named by UNESCO as a world heritage site twice, in 1994 and 2000.
In September 2016, the prime minister allowed the Hai Phong City administration to work with authorities in Quang Ninh Province, to plan the nomination of Ha Long Bay - Cat Ba Archipelago as a world heritage site.
Before the new addition, Vietnam was home to eight UNESCO-recognised world heritage sites. Among them are Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Ha Long Bay, the Hue Imperial Citadel City in Thua Thien Hue Province, Hoi An Ancient Town and the My Son Sanctuary in Quang Nam Province, Thang Long Imperial Citadel in Hanoi, the Citadel of the Ho Dynasty in Thanh Hoa Province, and the Trang An Landscape Complex in Ninh Binh Province.