Vietnam’s Cat Ba archipelago faces threats from mammoth tourism project

Tuoi Tre News

Updated : 05/14/2017 16:01 GMT + 7

A model of the megaresort upon completion in Cat Ba Archipelago off the northern city of Hai Phong
The construction of a megaresort has been initiated in a popular archipelago off the northern Vietnamese city of Hai Phong, mounting pressure on the local environment recognized as the world’s biosphere reserve.

The Cat Ba ecotourism resort and entertainment complex in the namesake archipelago, developed by Vietnamese conglomerate Sun Group, was kick-started on Saturday, with total investment estimated at US$3 billion.

The project began with the construction of a seaport and station of an over-the-sea cable car system, 21km long, connecting Cat Hai and Cat Ba Towns.

The third terminal of the cable car is expected to be located near the administrative center of the Cat Ba National Park on the main island.

Aside from the transportation system, the project will also include three golf courses, an amusement park, and several components to leverage the tourism potential of local areas such as Qua Vang Cave, Lan Ha Bay, Viet Hai Village, and Cat Ong Island.

A clam farm, previously owned by residents in Cat Ba Archipelago, has been backfilled for the construction of the massive resort. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Le Khac Nam, vice-chairman of the Hai Phong People’s Committee, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that local authorities and Sun Group had carried out multiple surveys and pooled feedback before laying out a plan for the project.

The building of the cable car as well as other constructions will only take place in the outer areas and along the coast, Nam said, claiming that it would not affect the Cat Ba biosphere reserve, which has always been strictly protected.

The resort complex plays a very essential role in developing tourism on Cat Ba, the official elaborated.

“Upon completion, the project will surely transform Cat Ba into a world-class tourist destination,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hoang Van Thap, director of the Cat Ba National Park, affirmed that he had not been asked to give any advice on the construction.

Thap added he had not been aware that some structures would be built within the park, where many rare animal and plant species are being protected.

A map showing the ecotourism project in Cat Ba Archipelago. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Developing tourism in the area requires careful consideration by competent agencies to ensure that the wildlife habitat will not be subject to any damage, Thap asserted.

Local conservationists are concerned that the Cat Ba langur species, the most endangered species in Vietnam being protected at the national park, would face multiple threats.

As of April, only 56 langurs had been recorded on Cat Ba.

According to Tran Thanh Liem, vice-chairman of the People’s Committee in Dong Bai Commune, Cat Hai District, among the 720 hectares of land needed to implement the project, 500 hectares is located in Dong Bai.

Two out of three villages in the commune have been relocated in order for the construction to take place, Liem said.

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This entry was posted in Bảo tồn sinh vật hoang dã - Wild life preservation, Di sản quốc gia - National heritage, Du lịch - Tourism, Môi trường - Environment, Vườn quốc gia - National parks, Địa lý - Geography and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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