Ecotourism – effectively supporting nature conservation | WWF

Ecotourism – effectively supporting nature conservation

Ecotourism is gradually being introduced to national parks, nature reserves and landscape protection sites in Vietnam. Developing ecotourism aims to bring significant benefits to the local communities and to contribute effectively to nature and biodiversity conservation. However, tourism can have negative impacts on the environment in the protected areas if the management process is not effective. Facing these opportunities and challenges, WWF-Denmark and WWF-Vietnam are implementing the project of ecotourism development in and around protected areas in Vietnam with financial assistance of the Danish International Development Agency. The project was approved by Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Development for the period of 2009-2014.

The key partners of the project include the Department of Nature Conservation under the Vietnam National Administration of Forestry, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Cat Tien National Park, and Bi Đoup Mountain Ba National Park. One of the main objectives of the pilot project was to build the community-based ecotourism model in Cat Tien National Park. The park has been declared a Biosphere Reserve Zone of the world by UNESCO in 2001 and is listed as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance since 2005. However, Cat Tien National Park is suffering from pressures caused by unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, especially by people living in the park’s buffer zones.

Aim of the ecotourism project is to create an alternative means of income for the locals who otherwise depend on the forest’s resources for living. Furthermore, WWF is developing guidelines and policies for ecotourism, and working to improve the legal framework for ecotourism development  in special use permit-forests to minimise the negative impacts on landscapes and biodiversity.

With strong and positive support from the government and other parties concerned, WWF-Vietnam achieved some remarkable results. The project has:
  1. Built a community-based ecotourism lodge in Cat Tien National Park which is run by the local Nha Dai ethnic minority people. 
  2. Put together an ecotourism development plan for the town and province that involves all parties concerned with Cat Tien National Park. 
  3. Created numerous job opportunities for the locals in Cat Tien National Park and Bi Đoup Moutain National Park 
  4. With financial assistance of the European Union co-operated with the “Building capacity of socially and environmentally responsible tourism” programme to create a community-based travel guide. 
  5. Co-operated with the General Directorate of Tourism to establish responsible tourism policies for businesses 
  6. Co-operated with the General Directorate of Forestry to build a “Draft circular for ecotourism development in special use permit-forests.

Another very important achievement of the project that contributes to its sustainability is the establishment of successful partnerships between the national park and the private sector. For example, Caphex enterprise co-operated effectively with local communities in Cat Tien National Park to develop ecotourism models. This co-operation brings considerable economic benefits to the community and the park. Wildtour Travel and Bi Doup Mountain Ba National Park are working together to develop and promote products, and to create stable employment for the local communities, thus reducing their dependence on the forest for their livelihood.

Contact Us

Mac Tuyet Nga (Ms.)
Project Manager, Ecotourism
Tel: 844 37193049 Ext: 153
Fax: 84 4 37193048
	© WWF-Việt Nam
Người dân tộc địa phương làm việc tại khu du lịch Nhà Dài - Tà Lài, Cát Tiên
© WWF-Việt Nam
	© WWF-Vietnam
Bà Trần Minh Hiền, giám đốc WWF-Việt Nam trao quà tặng cho ông K'Yếu, đại diện người dân Tà Lài thực hiện dự án năm 2012/ Ms. Tran Minh Hien, Director of WWF-Vietnam, gave a present to Mr. K'Yeu, representative of Ta Lai community.
© WWF-Vietnam