Phong Nha-Ke Bang, a UNESCO world heritage site recognized for its geodiversity, has won the second title from the UN body for its biodiversity.
Representatives from all 21 member countries of the World Heritage Committee approved the national park’s application at a meeting in Germany Friday.
Local authorities in Vietnam have requested the biodiversity recognition since 2003, when UNESCO named the park in the central province of Quang Binh a world natural heritage for outstanding geological history and structure.
The park, which is more than 123,000 hectares (nearly 304 million acres), is home to a stunning network of 400 million-year-old caves including the world’s largest Son Doong. Foreign and local explorers have praised the caves, saying they are among the world’s most beautiful.
A WWF report in 2000 said Phong Nha-Ke Bang is one of 200 biodiversity centers of the world which has 16 types of forests including the unique green tropical forest.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature said the park has the most diverse species in Vietnam and the diversity is very high compared to other heritage sites worldwide.