Ministry blocks cable-car plan for giant cave

Update: November, 13/2014 - 09:29

QUANG BINH  (VNS) —The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has told Quang Binh Province authorities to postpone the highly controversial Son Doong Cave cable-car project.

The ministry also told the authorities they should seek tighter compliance with Vietnamese and UNESCO heritage and conservation requirements.

The ministry issued a document demanding the Ministry of Construction withdraw the cable car project from a master plan on Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. The cave is both a national and UNESCO heritage site.

On September 30, the construction ministry asked the culture ministry to add the project to the National Park plan, following a suggestion by provincial authorities.

The ministry said the project must comply with Vietnamese cultural heritage laws and receive thorough consultation from UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

However, the UNESCO office in Ha Noi demanded that Quang Binh authorities submit the project to be analysed for compliance with UNESCO's requirements.

Late last month, Quang Binh People's Committee allowed an investor to survey the cable car project without consulting the ministry or UNESCO.

News on the project has created a surge of opposition from people around the world who want to save Son Doong, the world's biggest cave from modern developments, according to the British Cave Research Association.

Online petitions and Facebook pages also call for the project's termination. — VNS