Australia and Vietnam have formalized a partnership, considered the world’s first “sister caves” agreement, to promote tourism in two similar cave regions in each country as a means of promoting cave tourism, reports Vietnam Breaking News.
The caves in question are located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Vietnam and in the Margaret River region in Western Australia. Under the deal, the countries will also implement joint projects on environmental management in the delicate ecosystems and raise international awareness of the sites.
Terry Redman, Western Australia minister for regional development and lands, stressed the economic importance of the relationship. Trade between the countries is up 150 percent since 2013, reaching more than $900 million in 2014, he said, according to Vietnam Breaking News.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, 500 kilometers south of Hanoi, covers 85,754 hectares and contains more than 104 kilometers of caves and underground rivers. Its limestone karst ecosystem is considered one of the most important ecological zones in the world. The Margaret River caves are also one of the biggest limestone karst systems in the world, containing some 150 caves.