The map of Vietnam
reads as an impressive matrix of national parks, nature reserves
and proposed protected areas spread over mountains, lowland
forests, wetlands, islands, coral reefs and 3,440 km of coastline.
Locked within these natural pockets is an endemic and indigenous
biodiversity that makes Vietnam a truly special country. An
estimated 12,000 species of vascular flora occur in Vietnam.
The list of threatened and disappearing fauna includes 273
species of mammals and hundreds of bird, reptile and fish
species. This unique biodiversity and natural area diversity
are under increasing pressure from population growth, industrial
growth and development in the form of illegal hunting and
logging, wildlife trade, damming and mining, and road construction.
Map of Vietnam is a call for international tourists to sit
up and take note of Vietnam's spectacular natural composition,
whilst being responsible, respectful and considerate of local
communities. By engaging local people through the use of guides,
home-stays and various modes of transportation, it is hoped
that tourism will serve to increase local communities' awareness
of their natural environment whilst providing them with alternative
sources of income. Conservation and community development
are the ultimate aims of ecotourism and this map should be
a valuable tool in achieving them.
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The map itself is a colourful and informative guide to natural
Vietnam with photographs of landscapes and endangered species.
It pinpoints the exact location of all national parks and nature
reserves, while providing information on the composition of
species, tips on how to see them, and guidelines on how to be
a responsible ecotourist. Also included are six inset maps of
protected areas complete with topography, trails and various
other points of interests.
One of the inset maps features Pu Luong Nature Reserve, where
FFI has been helping local communities to develop community-based
ecotourism initiatives. Firstly, support has been provided in
tourism management and service provision through a mixture of
material assistance, training courses and ongoing support. This
has included training in home-stay management and services,
construction of foreign-style toilets and washing facilities
and provision of materials such as bedding and mosquito nets.
Secondly, the reserve is being promoted as an ecotourism destination
through production of materials such as posters, brochures and
a short bilingual video on the landscape, and placement of signboards.
A four-day familiarization trip was organized for tour operators
and journalists who wished to visit Pu Luong.
The Ecotourism Map of Vietnam highlights similar initiatives
that are under way throughout Vietnam. All sale proceeds from
the map go directly to support Vietnamese primate conservation.