Forest Floor Lodge

Accommodation for the discerning within the Cat Tien National Park

We are passionate about the involvement of Forest Floor Lodge with Nam Cat Tien Company and the National Park. We are proud that we are the only lodges that are located inside the Cat Tien National Park, and we make every effort to support the park and its activities as best we can. We make a financial contribution to the park for every visitor that stays with us, as we acknowledge that all organisations need income, and we have built this into our business plan from the outset.

trreOur initial investment has involved the rehabilitation of a dilapidated guard station building, next to the Ben Cu rapids, which will act as a reception area for a number of deluxe, low-impact accommodation units, set in the adjacent secondary forest growth. In our financial model, we supplement substantially the standard park entrance fee for visitors. An example of how we promote our activities has been to set up two web sites: one http://www.forestfloorlodge.com is commercial and http://www.namcattien.org is a public service site which deals with scientific and environmental issues in the area. In addition to collaborating with Park Authorities, we are cooperating with other organisations to enhance development strategies based on green corridors and protection riparian zones as well as conservation and local communities.

Bringing in visitors not only supports the local economy, but also raises environmental awareness and can reduce poaching (forest paths are watched more). We look forward to inviting investors, naturalists, scientific visitors and all who respect the environment to share in our mission.

Policy on wood and land clearance

tree2NCT JSC operates a strict policy on using wood only from Government approved sources and when fully operational, we intend to collaborate with Local Authorities on introducing more internationally recognised Certification Schemes. We understand that the wood that we have used has either been re-cycled from other dismantled buildings, cleared from land due to be flooded in hydro-electric power (HEP) schemes, or from plantation forests. Our ‘dozen for one’ policy means that we will plant at least 12 native hardwood trees for every one (over 100 mm in girth) that we have to remove in order to build. These plantings will be in key buffer zones adjacent to the Park as well as around our premises.

We are currently procuring land for the purpose of agro-forestry (which will include native hardwoods, fast growing commodities such as bamboo, cocoa and marketable fruits). In fact, very few native saplings have had to be cut down and much of the clearance has been of scrub: including invasive plant species such as Chromolaena odorata and Mimosa pigra (which originated in tropical America). Further specific details on forest conservation and the woodland species that we are attempting to rehabilitate are given on the namcattien.org website.

Policy on other building materials and energy

reclaimed timberThe reception and breakfast/bar area has been restored from an existing building using recycled building materials wherever possible. Waste water treatment has been installed to international standards. Our architect and site foremen have constructed a building that maximises the use of natural shading and ventilation, which avoids the use of air conditioning.

Reliability of electrical service is essential, so we have invested in a generator, but see this as an imperfect long-term solution. We will endeavour to use renewable energy sources whenever practical to do so, starting with solar water heating project in 2010.

Conclusion

Starting with a relatively modest investment, and wherever possible using locally-available resources, we aim to grow a business that supports local people and achieves long-term environmental enrichment: also adding value to the Park and Vietnam’s forest resources.