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     Con Dao national park

  Con Dao national park

Con Dao National Park

Con Dao is the name of an archipelago situated around 180 km off Vung Tau City, Southeast of Vietnam, 83 km off Can Tho Province (Hau River estuary) and 230 km off Ho Chi Minh City.

Con Dao National Park covers a total area of 5,998 ha (mountainous and forestry section), among which forested land occupies 4,905 ha, bare land occupies 622 ha and other land occupies 471 ha. Among forested land area, the broad-leaved forests occupy 4,778 ha, bamboo forests occupy 109 ha and mangrove forests occupy 18 ha. Its islands are covered with forestry vegetation to 92% of their natural area, from the sea level to the highest point of the mountain.

The forests and natural resources in Con Dao have the following characteristics:
- The forest ecology of Con Dao National Park is in the range of the island tropical forest ecology, with two typical types:
+ Tropical rain closed evergreen forest.
+ Tropical rain closed semi-deciduous forest

For many centuries, Con Dao has been known as Hell o­n Earth because of the wicked oppression under the French and American rule with a system of prisons, cells, French-style and American-style cages where revolutionary leaders and patriotic men of Vietnam were confined and maltreated. There were nearly o­ne thousand of such cells of different sizes, different sections, isolated sections, French-style and American-style cage sections 

So far, Con Dao prison system has been recognized by the Government as a national historical site because it is an evidence of the colonialist and imperialists wickedness and cruelty; whilst it is also proofs of the resilience and unyieldingness of more than 20 thousand men who had forever stayed under this Con Dao ground for their strong determination in fighting to win sovereignty for the Vietnamese people. Con Dao, in addition, is a very precious natural resource of the country, with high potential biodiversity, a national genetic conservation, a congregating site for the flora and fauna originate from the northern, central and southern part of Vietnam. Among them, there are many precious, rare, endemic flora and fauna of global and national level, several of them are named after Con Son, Con Dao as Dau Con Son (Dipterocarpus condorensis), Goi Con Son (Amoora poulocondorensis), Bui Con Son (Ilex condorensis), cay lat hoa (Chukrasia tabularis)  Soc den Con Dao (Rafuta bicolor condonrensis), khi duoi dai Con Dao, thach sung Con Dao (Cyrtod tylus condorensis), soc mun (Callosiurus sp), bo cau Niroba (Niroba pigeons) and chim gam ghi trang Con Dao is situated in o­ne of the seas with most beautiful and diversified coral reefs in Vietnam. There are many precious and rare marine living creatures like Dugong, Dolphins, marine turtles (Green turtles and Hawkbill turtles)
In 1993, the Prime Minister promulgated Decision No. 135/TTg dated 31 March 1993 to establish Con Dao National Park o­n the basis of transforming the Preserved Con Dao forest which was previously established o­n 01 March 1984 at Decision No. 85/HDBT issued by the Council of Ministers (now is the Government).

In the Decision o­n the establishment of Con Dao National Park, it was stipulated that:
Con Dao National Park is put under the management of MARD, directly under the Provincial PC of Baria-Vungtau, and under administration of Con Dao District PC., BR-VT Province.
Con Dao National Park covers total area of 19,998 ha (including 16 islands and islets) comprising of forest and forestland of 5,998 ha, biodiversity marine protected area of 14,000 ha. The management also covers 20,500 ha of marine buffer area.

 ?Protection, rehabilitation of the forest and marine ecology; conservation of precious and rare forestry and marine endemic organisms.
Conservation of natural forestry and marine landscape, contribution to improving the historical and cultural relics of the Con Dao District.

Implementation of scientific research duties, dissemination, public education and sightseeing tour.
Nowadays, tourists from every where o­n earth besides visiting historical relics to see with their own eyes how cruel and wicked the French colonialists and American imperialists were, consequently they may have admiration and respects for the Vietnamese revolutionary men and their brave, resilient, unyielding examples. Tourists coming to Con Dao o­n eco-tours also to discover natural resource-environment.

Con Dao is the land with national significance in historical relics, and national significance in national resource conservation, the Con Dao residents always proud of it like some scholar has said ?No where else o­n this fatherland, have the meanings of history, human culture and nature mixed like this.

There are 72 members of staff supporting the following departments:
- The Management Board: providing operation and overall instruction to the park activities.
- Dept. of Organization and Administration: in charge of the park organization, planning, finance and administration.
- Dept. of Scientific and Environmental Education: in charge of scientific research and environmental education for the community.
- Dept. of Tourism and Services: in charge of the development of eco-tour and eco-tour relating services.
- Local forest protection department: in charge of protecting the park?s national resources and environment. This department comprises of 9 forest protection stations and 01 mobile forest protection brigade.

Organizations, individuals must have prior approval from the Management Board to carry out any activities in the Con Dao National Park and shall be subject to the following regulations:
-They should not change the natural landscape or pollute the environment;
-They should not impact o­n the natural living of the wildlife;
-They should not illegally feed, keep and plant species introduced from other places, nor should they keep their livestock grazing in this area;
-They should not exploit the wildlife resources; collect specimens nor should they exploit other resources;
-They should not take with them hazardous chemicals, explosives, and inflammables into the Park. They should not make fire in the forest and near the edge of the forest;

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