Con Dao Island A serene home for precious turtles

December 11, 2020 | 11:27
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Con Dao National Park on the archipelago off the coast of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province has been officially listed in the IOSEA Network of Sites of Importance, giving a further boost to the protection of marine turtles.
con dao island a serene home for precious turtles
Con Dao Island A serene home for precious turtles

The listing honours the great biodiversity conservation efforts from Vietnam’s authorities and confirms the strong commitment of local and national agencies in protecting the country’s rare species.

In October, during the eighth meeting of the signatories to the MoU on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia (IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU), the Vietnamese delegation’s proposal to include Con Dao National Park in the IOSEA Network of Sites of Importance was officially accepted.

Nguyen Khac Pho, director of Con Dao National Park, said conservation efforts require the participation of both scientists and businesses to develop eco-tourism sustainably, adding that many firms have helped the national park to protect the marine turtles effectively.

Situated off the south-eastern coast, the waters of the islands are considered an ideal feeding habitat for green and hawksbill sea turtles, both of are mentioned on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

con dao island a serene home for precious turtles

Vietnam introduced legal protection of marine turtles in 1987 and joined the IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU as one of the first signatories back in 2001. The first two marine turtle conservation stations in Con Dao were established in 1989. Thanks to the conservation efforts of the Vietnamese government, there has been a dramatic decline in poaching of marine turtles and egg collection.

Along with the authorities’ efforts, multiple local businesses have been helping to protect the threatened species. In collaboration with Con Dao National Park, Six Senses Con Dao’s own incubation centre Let’s Get Cracking has since been home to many new turtle hatchlings, with 2020 seeing a successful, high hatching rate, as 43 nests were delivered to the resort for custodianship and over 2,095 turtles successfully hatched before being released to the ocean. For the past three years, there have been 173 nests with 7,860 critically endangered, newly hatched green sea turtles. The average hatching rate of 80 per cent represents the careful and consistent efforts that Six Senses Con Dao has made in the conservation of these precious species.

Six Senses Con Dao’s commitment to sustainability has also been recognised after the resort was mentioned among the world’s top eco lodges by many leading publications. Directly in front of the resort is a prime habitat and feeding ground – the only place where protection is enforced for the small marine population that resides around Con Dao Islands.

Six Senses Con Dao invites guests to share the responsibility to offset the carbon footprint, while indulging in what the resort calls sustainable luxury. The resort works with eco-minded suppliers to make the resort virtually plastic free and maintaining a clean ocean and land for turtles, while educating local children with weekly environmental and English class programmes.

Moreover, the resort manages its own reverse osmosis plant and crystal water refinery, producing high-quality drinking water without the use of plastic bottles. An organic vegetable garden also supports self-sustained food and beverages in the resort, drastically reducing its environmental footprint.

Committed to environmental sustainability and the community, Six Senses Con Dao has a long-term plan to restore the surrounding nature to its pristine condition and enhance the guests’ experience by simply reconnecting with nature and the world around them, starting with the precious sea turtles.

By Quang Minh

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