Cat Tien National Park is among the most important biodiversity conservation strongholds in Vietnam; the park is an important core zone of Dong Nai biosphere reserve. Besides the biodiversity richness, Cat Tien National Park is a well-known place for its unique cultural and historical values. Because of its unique values, in 2012, Deputy Prime Minister has signed a decision to recognize Cat Tien as national relic site. This recognition is an special advantages that help to improve and heighten the park effort on biodiversity conservation, sustainable tourism and raising public awareness and responsible for its cultural and natural values.
Over the past 5 years, Cat Tien is recognized as one of of the most active and effective park for its biodiversity conservation and ecotourism activities. The park has unique ecotourism and night safari, birth watching tours where tourists could witness its unique forest landscape and wildlife in their habitat; and community tourism to experience life and culture of ethnic group in the buffer zone.
However, as other Parks protected areas in Vietnam, staff are frequently rotated or changed, and the constant need of updating knowledge and skills. Therefore, capacity building and training should always be a priority for the park and its staffs.
Within the framework of the AFoCo-funded project named “Conserving and protecting biodiversity of forest ecosystems in Cat Tien National Park“, Center for Nature Conservation and Development (CCD) collaborated with Cat Tien National Park to implement a capacity and training need assessment program on: (i) assessing training and knowledge, skills need for forest protection associated with biodiversity monitoring and (ii) assessing training and skills need for eco/community based tourism for tourism staff and local guides include prepare a set of training material and training curriculum. The assessment focus on Cat Tien’s staff and local stakeholders in the park’s buffer zone.
Perceiving from assessment, CCD work with Cat Tien to develop training material and training modules to improve knowledge and skills for staff and partners in effective management of the park and its biodiversity and having more effective tourism and education activity to improve public awareness and responsibility.
Besides the endeavor to protecting the nature and biodiversity values, CCD has been actively involved supporting Vietnam’s protected areas to build capacity, advance management systems . In addition, CCD also initiate and sustain different programs that support forest-dependent communities to improve their livelihoods through community-based tourism, community-based forest protection to reduce their dependence on forest resources and improve their participation and responsible on forest protection, biodiversity conservation .