The Realities of Conservation on Cat Ba

And the complex links between tourism, development & biodiversity


I’m pleased to present the fourth Vietnam Weekly Podcast episode, which is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever podcasts are found.

My guest is Neagha Leonard, project director of the Cat Ba Langur Conservation Project. He has lived on Cat Ba since 2014 and is a leading expert on the island, its biodiversity, and the numerous issues facing both human residents and flora and fauna. I strongly recommend following the organization’s Facebook page, linked above, which provides very detailed updates on their work.

We covered a wide range of topics, including the project’s work documenting the critically endangered Cat Ba langur population; the impact of mass tourism and developments such as Sun Group’s cable car on the environment; the importance of providing livelihood alternatives to people moved from their home in the name of environmental protection; the island’s incredible overall biodiversity; and what people can do wherever they live to get involved with conservation.

For more background on Cat Ba, I recommend checking out my Mongabay feature on the island from 2019. I met Neagha during that reporting trip, and he has been an invaluable resource since then. His willingness to speak bluntly on conservation is welcome.


Mike Tatarski