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Cu Lao Cham builds new environment & conservation brand

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After Cu Lao Cham (Chan Island) was recognized by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve, ecotourism in the area developed rapidly.

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Rock crabs are now under community protection


2006 witnessed strong changes in marine conservation in Cu Lao Cham with the approval of a zoning plan to protect, exploit and develop ecotourism, along with the establishment of community organizations to carry out the task. 

Marine patrol teams were established, becoming a bridge between the Border Guard, local police, fisheries inspectorates and the community to supervise conservation and ecotourism activities in coral reefs and seagrass beds.

Cu Lao Cham is a group of eight islands. It is an ideal destination for tourists, endowed with mountain slopes and biological diversity. 

A visit to the World Heritage town of Hoi An would be incomplete without dropping by Cu Lao Cham.

Since 2013, Cu Lao Cham ecotourism has improved and is now an important product in the central province of Quang Nam’s  tourism development plan. 

On the island, rock crabs (Gecarcoidea lalandii) are now under community protection. The rock crab is labeled when it is eligible for exploitation if its crab shell size is at least 7 cm. 

Hundreds of households in Cu Lao Cham have become directly involved in ecotourism activities with more than 12 types of new livelihoods. The higher income and improved life quality are the driving force for locals to participate in the environment and natural resources protection activities.

Cu Lao Cham ecotourism has also helped Hoi An and the community in coastal areas earn high incomes. Only 10 percent of travelers from Hoi An ancient town come to Cu Lao Cham each year, but the benefits brought to mainland tourism services are significant. In general, travelers to Cu Lao Cham stay in Hoi An for an additional two days. 

The marine product exploitation output in the past was estimated at over 1,500 tons a year. However, the figure has fallen to 800 tons since the establishment of the MPA (martine protected area) and ecotourism. 

Now, people are focusing on developing tourism services. Some fishing grounds have been put under conservation, mostly areas where there is vulnerable coral reef ecosystem.

However, scientists have recently voiced their concern about the overexploitation of natural resources, which can be seen in the decrease in number and size. If proper solutions cannot be applied, natural resources will be exhausted in the future.



Source: VietNamNet

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