Son Tra Peninsula's beauty impresses GEF delegates

Published: July 02, 2018

On the sidelines of the freshly-concluded 6th Assembly of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a group of GEF delegates recently visited the Son Tra Peninsula to explore the natural beauty of this venue which is dubbed as a ‘treasure’ with a species-rich animal and plant ecosystem varying from tropical rainforests to coastal reefs.

 The GEF delegates admiring the allure of red-shanked douc langurs living on the Son Tra Peninsula
The GEF delegates admiring the allure of red-shanked douc langurs living on the Son Tra Peninsula

The visiting delegates from Brazil, the Philippines, India and Indonesia were very impressed by the beauty of red-shanked douc langurs which has been recognised by the Wildlife at Risk international organisation as the ‘Queen’ of the primate species.

The international delegates remarked that only a few cities worldwide possess almost intact natural areas like Son Tra.

The peninsula is not only a unique tourism product, but it also is an ideal place for local pupils and students to gain a deeper insight into the ecological environment and the protection of forests and wildlife.

“The relationship between biodiversity conservation and tourism development is inseparable in the current context”, said Claus Pram Astrup, the GEF Secretariat.

He added that this strategy not only benefits the country itself, but it also actively helps to promote global biodiversity.

In reality, the deployment of construction projects on the peninsula, which is considered as a ‘blue pearl’ of Da Nang and a wonderful gift of nature in the city, is likely adversely affect the natural landscape, threaten biodiversity, and undermine the chance to develop sustainable tourism.

Meanwhile, GEF’s CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii, who came to Da Nang 20 years ago to work for a World Bank-funded urban project aiming at helping second-tier cities Naoko Ishii said that, over the 2 decades, Da Nang is no longer a second-class city, and it is now a large city with modern and world-class infrastructure.

In particular, Naoko Ishii hoped that Da Nang will be selected to participate in the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities – GPSC) during the GEF’s 7th cycle (GEF 7) from 2018 – 2022.

Mr Axel Van Trotsenburg, the Vice President of the World Bank (WB) for East Asia and the Pacific highlighted Da Nang’s great tourism development potential with its adequate utilities and beautiful natural scenery. He added that the city is really a wonderful destination for visitors from both home and aboard to enjoy relaxing moment.

Notably, Mr Axel Van Trotsenburg affirmed WB’s willingness to help Da Nang, especially in the field of infrastructure development.

Over recent years, the WB’s partnership with Da Nang has expanded from basic infrastructure, to a multi-sectoral approach that emphasises integration and coordination across institutions to obtain higher impact and sustainable development.

The WB has become actively engaged in assisting the implementation of many large-scale projects in Da Nang, including Three Cities Sanitation Project, Da Nang Priority Infrastructure Investment Project (PIIP), and the Da Nang Sustainable City Development Project (SCDP).

It is no denying that these projects have helped to create a tremendous change to Da Nang’s urban face, and ensure its sustainable development. 

The WB has always raised its strong support for Da Nang’s participation in GPSC for which the GEF has pledged 155 million US$ for the 2018 – 2022 period.