Cat Ba to be a world natural heritage: An Opportunity at hand
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Cat Ba - a World Biosphere Reserve – a National Park. The titles as well as the exotic wild life of good preservation and exploitation make its distinguished attraction to tourists. Haiphong city and Cat Hai district have determined a sustainable development strategy of Cat Ba tourism by enhancing the management and conservation of natural values in a bid to make Cat Ba be a world natural heritage and a global geo-park.

Valuable natural resources

Cat Ba archipelago has 366 islands of different sizes, of which the main island of Cat Ba is about 100 km² adjacent to Ha Long Bay, forming a fascinating complex of islands and sea to visitors. Here found many Neolithic archaeological relics, Ha Long cultural relics and ancient Vietnamese traces. Cat Ba has Lan Ha bay with more than 100 beautiful beaches such as Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, Da Bang, Ben Beo, Co Tien etc.

Cat Ba National Park is a primary rainforest reserve. The protect park area is 15,200 ha, including 9,800 ha forest and 4,200 ha sea. Its topography varies, mostly limestone mountains with caves and smooth white sand beaches The mountains have an average elevation of 150 m, of which the highest peak of Cao Vong is 322 m above the sea level. Cat Ba sea has 300 marine fish species, 500 species of molluscs and crustaceans, including those that can be used as raw materials for handicrafts like turtle shell, lobsters, pearl, coral, oyster shell, sea snails etc.

Cat Ba National Park is bestowed with both forest and sea with abundant resources of beautiful scenery, rare animals and plants. According to the director of Cat Ba National Park Hoang Van Thap, Cat Ba is a tropical forest of various grounds. Accordingly, limestone mountain forests account for the largest area, which are interspersed by hill forests, especially pedocarpus fleurgi forests. The flora includes 620 different species of 123 groups. Some are to be protected and developed. The fauna here is rich with 20 species of mammals, 69 birds, 20 reptiles and amphibians. Caves on the island of Cat Ba vary with different beauties which are of natural wonders. The famous ones can be named as the caves of Luon, Trang Trung, Gia Luan, Thien Long etc. with gracious stalactites of different shapes and looks.

Conservation is everyone’s responsibility
Cat Ba tourism complex is an inseparable nature ecologically. The island still owns a pristine attraction with cool and fresh climate. Cat Hai People’s Committee Chairman Bui Trung Nghia said Cat Ba was an overall conservation of biological diversity with intact resources of forest, sea and water. The conservation task needs the participation at all levels, including the central role of the local inhabitants. Every individual should be responsible for the conservation of natural values, genetic resources, especially rare species of endangered Cat Ba langurs.

Recently, thanks to due management and strict protection of relevant agencies and rangers along with self-conscious coordination of the people, the illegal acts of logging, hunting and trapping have decreased. But due to high profits and large demand, it is still a hard job to fight against the deforestation and illegal hunting. In order to tackle the issue, according to the director of Cat Ba National Park: "It is necessary to create jobs for local residents through tourism projects. The task of management, conservation needs to be done mainly by the public as a main force. Accordingly, local households should be assigned to protect as well as to have their own benefits from the forests and natural resources. This is to raise their awareness, pride and responsibilities, to change perceptions of local leaders who are directly play a critical role in extensive propaganda and campaign at the grass-root levels.
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