Cat Ba island: ten years of international support - where to from here?

07 March 2007 | News story

Over the last year, IUCN has been undertaking a study of the 27 internationally funded conservation and development projects implemented on Cat Ba Island since 1995. The findings, unveiled at a workshop in Hai Phong on 1st December, 2006, culminated in 10 key lessons for future work on the Island.  

In order to be successful, the study recommended, future projects should seek to:

    1.    Use available resources and ongoing studies to gain an understanding of key local needs

    2.    Understand the institutional contexts that can affect project implementation

    3.    Gain a comprehensive understanding of the organisation they are partnering with prior to implementation of the project, in order to develop appropriate approaches

    4.    Base activities on clear and achievable objectives that are backed by baseline studies

    5.    Build a long-term local presence to provide ongoing support and follow-up of activities, and to develop strong community relationships to ensure sustainability of benefits

    6.    Use available information from past projects in order to strengthen project design and avoid the design flaws of previous projects

    7.    Partner with, and actively build, the strength of a local agency/organisation

    8.    Develop mechanisms and systems early in project implementation to identify and resolve any emerging management problems

    9.    Establish clear financial management responsibilities for recurrent cost of funding mechanisms (such as the revolving funds) ?ˇ“ for both implementation and beyond project completion in order to sustain benefits

    10.    Base the establishment of new entities and community-based organisations on a comprehensive understanding of the local context, giving consideration to how the new entities will fit within and complement existing frameworks

These findings are expected to serve as an important reference for future conservation and sustainable development activities on the islands. This initiative was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and through AusAID’s VIDA program.   Results of the study were presented at a workshop in Hai Phong City in December 2006 that attracted over 70 participants from the local government and international organisations and representing tourism, agriculture, and conservation projects across the island.

For more information, please contact Mr. Ashley Brooks, Protected Areas Programme Support Officer, at abrooks@iucn.org.vn or call +(84) 4 726-1575 ext. 287.


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.