16 Sep 2020
With Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc calling on the city of HCM to “urbanize the neighborhood while preserving its mangrove forests”, the city plans to seek investment in the neighborhood, particularly in major projects like the encroachment project of the Can Gio sea, the Can Gio bridge, an upgrade of the Rung Sac road and the construction of a ferry port.
They also aim to stimulate the sustainable development of services, agriculture and the marine economy, protect mangrove forests and make the district an international area of entertainment and tourism.
Nguyen Huu Hiep, head of the HCM City Mass Mobilization Commission, urged the district to shift its economic structure from agriculture to services and trade, promote maritime economy and tourism, and do tourism a key industry.
The city is also planning a number of major urbanization projects in Can Gio.
They include the 3.4 km Can Gio Bridge over the Soai Rap River between the neighborhood and the rest of the city.
A high-speed boat service will be operated between Bach Dang Wharf in the city center, district and nearby Vung Tau town.
A helicopter charter service between the city center and Can Gio will welcome local and international tourists.
A sea bridge between Can Gio and Vung Tau will also be built by 2025.
Nguyen Thien Nhan, secretary of the municipal party committee, said that urbanized Can Gio would become a popular tourist destination for local and international visitors.
The neighborhood is expected to contribute to the city’s economy by creating more jobs and generating significant sums of income, he said.
Tourism development in Can Gio has been relatively slow since it is only accessible by ferry, but the construction of the huge bridge that connects it to the rest of the city will make it easier to access.
The district has recently seen an average increase of 50 percent in the number of visitors per year.
Sea advance project
The Prime Minister approved the $ 9.3 billion Can Gio sea encroachment project, which is expected to help create 25,000 jobs and generate significant income for the city.
It will be developed in the coastal commune of Long Hoa and the city of Can Thanh on an area of 2,870 ha by the joint stock company of the urban tourism zone of Can Gio.
It will be located approximately 18 km from the famous Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve, close to the Xoai Rap and Long Tau rivers, 17 km from the Vam Sat ecotourism area and 4 km from Monkey Island.
Minh Dung, chairman of the Can Gio People’s Committee, said some 228,500 people are expected to live in the area while nine million tourists visit each year.
“The new tourist urban area would help [the district] become a hotspot for regional and international tourism.
Once completed, it would contribute 2.9 trillion dong (US $ 124.36 million) to the city’s coffers annually.
Environmentalists have warned, however, that the urbanization of Can Gio should be considered with care as it is vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, erosion and subsidence.
They also point out that the UNESCO-listed Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve is a crucial buffer against coastal erosion and storm-induced coastal flooding, and therefore should be spared from development. .
Architect Ngo Viet Nam Son also stressed the importance of preserving nature in the region, especially the mangrove biosphere.
However, Nguyen Xuan Hai, Director of the Environmental Impact Assessment Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said, “The project complies with Vietnamese laws and UNESCO legal framework.
The investor should conduct further studies on the risks caused by extreme weather conditions and erosion of forest land in order to ensure the ecological integrity of mangrove forests during the long construction period, he added.
Dr Nguyen Chi Thanh, director of the Vietnam Forests and Wetlands Research Institute, said the developer should ensure that there is “no negative impact on the environment and biodiversity of the reserve “.
The district of Can Gio is the only district bordering the sea in the city of HCM.
It has tourist attractions such as Monkey Island, Hang Duong Seafood Market, Vam Sat Ecological Tourist Zone and Rung Sac (Sac Forest) classified by UNESCO as World Biosphere Reserve.
Can Gio is also well known for its annual Nghinh Ong (Whale Worship) festival recognized as National Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Studies have shown that the mangroves of Can Gio help filter gray water upstream and regulate flood flows.
One of the largest rehabilitated mangrove forests in the world also serves as a green lung and bulwark protecting the city from storms and extreme weather conditions.