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Phu Quoc, Vietnam Habitat Demonstration Site
Written by Nguyen Xuan Niem   
Sunday, 23 October 2005

UNEP/GEF South China Sea Project

Demonstration Site Manager
Mr. Nguyen Xuan Niem
DoNRE. 1226A Nguyen Trung Tyruc Street,
Rach Gia, Kien Giang, Vietnam
Tel: (84 77) 915 837, (84) 913 858 049
Fax: (84 77) 815 837
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Focal Point for the Coral Reefs Component
Mr. Nguyen Van Long
Master of Marine Biology and Deputy Head
Department of Marine Living Resources
Institute of Oceanography
01 Cau Da Street
Nha Trang City, Viet Nam
Tel: (84 58) 590 205
Fax: (84 58) 590 034
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Focal Point for the Seagrass Component
Dr. Nguyen Van Tien
Institute of Marine Environment and Resources (IMER)
246 Da Nang Street, Hai Phong City, Viet Nam
Tel: (84).031.761523
Fax: (84).031.761521
E-mail:    This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

PCU Contact
Dr. Vo Si Tuan
Senior Expert
UNEP/GEF Project Coordinating Unit
United Nations Building
2nd Floor, Block B
Rajdamnern Avenue
Bangkok, 10200, Thailand
Tel: (662) 288 2084
Fax: (662) 288 1094
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Fisheries Threats Contact
Dr. Dao Manh Son
Vice Director
Research Institute for Marine Fisheries
Ministry of Fisheries
170 Le Lai Street
Haiphong City, Viet Nam
Tel:  (84 31) 837 898, 836 135
Mobile: (84) 91 3329782
Fax:  (84 31) 836 812
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Further Information on Coral Reefs in the South China Sea

Reports of the Meetings of the UNEP/GEF Regional Working Group on Coral Reefs

UNEP/GEF Review of Coral Reefs in the South China Sea

Coral Reef Habitat Demonstration Site Information Resources 

Lessons Learned in Integrated Habitat and Fisheries Management at Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam

Project Document for Phu Quoc Coral Reef Demo Site

Lessons Learned in Seagrass and Fisheries Management at Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam

Site Name and Geographic Coordinates
Name: Phu Quoc Island Coral Reef and Seagrass Demonstration Site
Latitude: 9o 45’ - 10o 30’ N
Longitude: 103o 55’ - 104o 05’ E in

The coastal ecosystems in the waters around Phu Quoc Island should be used sustainably in order to conserve biodiversity and to enhance local livelihoods. This project will contribute to maintaining existing biodiversity (coral reefs, seagrass beds and endangered species) in the trans-boundary waters of the Phu Quoc Islands and reduce the human causes of degradation (over fishing, endangered species catching, destructive fishing).

The participation of different stakeholders during project implementation will establish a mechanism to manage coastal ecosystems effectively to meet focal direction of the province in tourist development and contribute to enhancement of the living standards of local communities via sustainable fisheries and involvement in tourist activities.

The demonstration project meets the criteria of the GEF in biodiversity conservation in the transboundary waters of the Phu Quoc islands located on the border with Cambodia. Phu Quoc is also a priority site in the Viet Nam Biodiversity Action Plan approved by the Prime Minister in 1995. The waters around Phu Quoc islands are considered as the biggest fishing ground of Viet Nam. The conserved ecosystems will support sustainable fisheries in the region. Recently, the Vietnamese government has approved the development plan of the islands, in which tourism is the most important in economic activity. The terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and endangered species are assessed as having a high potential for tourism development.

Over the recent past, Phu Quoc National Park focused on forest conservation, and considered the surrounding marine area as a buffer zone for the Park, further planning and better management of this marine zone are urgently required. Central and provincial government have invested strongly in forest protection, reforestation and development of tourist infrastructure. State and private businesses have also invested in tourism and aquaculture (pearl oysters, fishes). They are willing to cooperate in order to foster an environment for sustainable investment.

The project approach comprises three levels. There is the special need for awareness, education and capacity building at the provincial level. Meanwhile, collection and acquisition of data and information for management purposes, integration mechanisms and awareness education receive more consideration at the district (islands) level. Establishment of suitable management models depending on characteristics of ecosystems and recent management will be focused at a sub-site level. The outcomes of the project will be presented clearly at the sub-site level with some areas continuing to be managed in suitable ways and maintained after the closure of the project.

Immediate objectives:

  • To develop and establish a coordinating mechanism among provincial sectors and between Viet Nam and Cambodia in management of coral reefs and seagrass beds in the coastal waters of Kien Giang.
  • To execute studies and monitoring activities in order to collect data and information for planning and management purposes.
  • To enhance public awareness and to improve management capacity for policy makers, managers and local communities in resource conservation and environment protection.
  • To improve environment management in the islands (reforestation, waste management) to minimise negative impacts on coastal ecosystems.
  • To have some important sub-sites managed as pilots in favourable ways with involvement of park authorities, local fishermen, tourist sector operators and others as appropriate.
  • To execute pilot activities in financial sustainability at 2 sub-demo sites.


The activities of the project will help all related departments at the provincial level, district authorities, business and communities in the islands to increase their awareness of the importance of coastal ecosystems and need to harmonise development and conservation.

  • Management capacity of National Park, Department of Resource and Environment, Department of Fisheries including fishery protection, district Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will be strengthened to meet the management requirements.
  • Appropriate coordinating mechanism for management of coastal resources in Phu Quoc district will be established. Information exchange and management integration with Cambodian colleagues developed.
  • One hundred ha of coral reefs, 200 ha of seagrass beds carefully managed under different models.
  • Pressure to other areas of the habitats decreased.
  • Eight local people trained to do monitoring of coastal resources and environment
  • At least 3 nesting beaches of marine turtle and surrounding habitats protected.
  • Catching dugong in the waters around the islands, ceases.
  • Tourist activities in the district directed to long-term benefits.
  • Benefit for at least 2 villages improved clearly.
  • More resources in near-shore waters for public fishing.
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