The Cat Tien national park has signed a 500,000 USD project to develop eco-tourism with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam and Denmark.
The project aims to improve the park’s community-based tourism services, and encourage locals to join in the eco-tourist business, thus promoting their involvement in preservation activities.
Cat Tien park is carrying out a number of ecological projects, including one to preserve wild oxen, funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and another to protect primates by the UK’s Monkey World-Ape and Taiwan.
Additionally, 18 billion VND from the State budget and the Netherlands has been allocated for moving 72 Ma and Stieng ethnic households from the park’s core zone to the buffer zone. The families have been trained in the cultivation and husbandry skills needed to provide for themselves in the new area, and to no longer depend on the forest for subsistence.
Thanks to this and other projects, local ethnic populations, totaling 170,000 – mainly Ma, STieng, Nung and Dao – are more aware of the importance of protecting forests, and have changed their cultivation and agricultural cultures toward greater sustainability.
Cat Tien park is a 727,000 ha protected national forest, including a 251,000 ha buffer zone and 403,000 ha transition zone, that is spread across southern Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc provinces, and the central highlands provinces of Dak Nong and Lam Dong.
The park is preparing to file as a UNESCO world heritage site.