Rising visitor arrivals put Tram Chim sanctuary under pressure

VietNamNet Bridge
5 March 2015

Tram Chim attracted as many as 60,000 tourists last year, five times higher than the number before 2012 when the park was recognized as the world’s 2,000th site of the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands of International Importance.

Experts and researchers expressed concerns about the strong rise at a review conference on a project on biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement through sustainable ecotourism development. The event was co-organized by WWF Vietnam and the national park in Dong Thap Province.

Nguyen Van Hung, director of Tram Chim National Park, said as staff of the sanctuary lack tourism skills, they should be provided with courses on ecotourism development in order to better protect and preserve the national park.

Despite the increasing number of visitors, the sanctuary has a limited amount of money to preserve its biodiversity and develop suitable products as the environmental protection fee has not been collected. The main financial source for the park’s activities comes from conservation projects.
WWF Vietnam and Coca-Cola Vietnam provided technical and financial assistance for an ecotourism project at the park. In November 2013, Coca-Cola gave funds to WWF Vietnam and the park to enhance biodiversity through hydrological management and livelihood improvement.

Hoang Viet, manager of the salty soil and climate change program at WWF Vietnam, said the project was implemented at Tram Chim National Park because of its biodiversity. The park is home to 130 species of fish and 231 species of birds. In addition, it plays a major role in helping the Mekong Delta region adapt to climate change and store groundwater resources.

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