Youths join hands to develop Cham Island hinh anh 1Cham Island (Cu Lao Cham) (Photo: VNA)

Quang Nam (VNA) - Cu Lao Cham (Cham Islands) in the central province of Quang Nam has showed strong development in recent times thanks to great contributions of young people, who are working to promote local economic development and ensure security and defence in the island.

Covering a total area of 15 square kilometres in Tan Hiep island commune in Hoi An city, Cu Lao Cham is a cluster of eight islets, namely Hon Lao, Hon Dai, Hon Mo, Hon Kho Me, Hon Kho Con, Hon La, Hon Tai and Hon Ong. 

It is home to 3,000 inhabitants living in all the islets, which have vast ecological diversity.

The island boasts 1,500ha of tropical forests and 6,700ha of sea featuring a wide range of marine fauna and flora, including many endangered species such as salangane (swallows), the long-tailed monkey and the crab-eating macaque.

With its diverse eco-system and multi-hundred-year-old historical sites, Cu Lao Cham was officially recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in May 2009.

The island, 20km off the coast of Hoi An city, is a favourite eco-tour site for tourists, and was the first locality in Vietnam to ban plastic bags and promote the 3-R (reduce, reuse and recycle) programme in 2011.

Tourism development in the island in recent years has contributes to changing labour structure and improving living standard for islanders. 

It hosts about 100,000 tourists annually, of which 10 percent are foreigners. The island welcomes nearly 3,000 tourists a day during the peak season. 

Visitors can participate in a number of tours in Cu Lao Cham such as discovering the systems of caves, springs and rocks; snorkeling and watching coral and colorful fish in Bai Bac and Hon Dai; boat rowing; and visiting Huong fishing village or swimming. 

Secretary of the Communist Youth Union’s chapter in Tan Hiep commune Nguyen Minh Duc said about 70 percent of the locality’s population is joining in providing tourism services.

Local youths have been also actively get involved in tourism development as they works as tour guides and homestay and motorbike service providers for visitors. 

With an increasing number of overnight-staying tourists, the local authorities allowed the local Youth Union’s chapter to organise campfire events at nights for tourists. This work both ensure safety for forest fire prevention and control in the island, and helps raise fund for disadvantaged pupils and student to pursue their study. 

The chapter also called on the Hoi An city’s social policy bank to provide low-interest loans for poor students in the commune. 

Additionally, young people in the island also uphold their pioneer role in protecting the environment.

Campaigns to clean the environment have been arranged every week along roads and beaches, while drawing contests have been launched for children, contributing to raising public awareness of protecting the environment. 

As a key force in managing and performing patrols in the island and surrounding coastal areas, youths from the Cu Lao Cham border station is always in the vanguard of implementing duties of the unit, and actively works closely with the local youth force to carry out youth movements. 

Senior lieutenant Phan Duy Tu, Secretary of the youth union of the Cu Lao Cham border station, said youths’ activities of the union are linked with the station’s duties, including joining patrols and inspecting fishing ships and cruise vessels in the locality. 

In rainy seasons, they actively coordinate with other forces to help residents, and evacuate locals to safe areas. 

From the beginning of the year to now, through patrols, the island’s border guard force timely support the search of rescue for three fishing ships, which was in distress in the sea. 

The youth union of the border station built a library with 600 book titles to serve the reading demand of soldiers and islanders. 

In any positions, local youths always stay ready to devote themselves to the island’s development./.