Media Resouces
Migratory bird and wetland awareness event in Ho Chi Minh City draws a strong crowd
30 May 2023
  • Celebrating migratory birds in Vietnam, ‘Tạm biệt chim di cư’ is supported by Mapletree Investments under its corporate social responsibility pillar of support for the environment.
  • Organised by WildTour, BirdLife International and Vietnam Bird Conservation Society, the event brought participants to Can Gio, among Vietnam’s most important coastal wetlands for migratory birds.
  • The event brought together close to 140 participants, including nearly 100 children and their family, and teams of nature photographers keen to document migratory birds.
  • The event is an integral part of BirdLife’s migratory bird conservation priorities in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.

HO CHI MINH CITY – Migratory birds and their conservation in Vietnam has been gaining profile in recent years, and there is increasing public awareness of migratory waterbirds. Organised by BirdLife International, WildTour and the Vietnam Bird Conservation Society ("VBCS”), and supported by Mapletree Investments (“Mapletree” or “the Group”), ‘Celebrating Migratory Birds in Vietnam’, or ‘Tạm biệt chim di cư’ aims to bring together young people and nature enthusiasts in Ho Chi Minh City. The goal is to promote appreciation and awareness of migratory waterbirds in the Mekong Delta’s wetlands just ahead of ‘World Migratory Bird Day’, and contributes to the ongoing ‘Mekong Shorebird Delta Project’ led by BirdLife and WildTour.

This year’s event is the first after Vietnam’s post-Pandemic re-opening and drew close to 140 participants to the wetlands of Can Gio and its vicinity. Can Gio is among Vietnam’s best-known wetlands, and each year, draws large flocks of migratory shorebirds and egrets, including the globally threatened Spotted Greenshank, Chinese Egret, significant populations of Eurasian Curlew, Asian Dowitcher and Great Knot. to its mangroves, intertidal flats and salt pans. Can Gio spanning 75,400 hectares is recognized by BirdLife International as an important bird and biodiversity area (IBA) and is protected by the Vietnam Government as a Biosphere Reserve. 

Held over the weekend of 23-24 April 2023, ‘Celebrating Migratory Birds in Vietnam’ drew nearly 100 children and their parents, 25 nature photographers from Ho Chi Minh City, and a contingent of volunteers. The event coincided with the time of the year when millions of migratory birds depart for their spring migrations from Southeast Asia. All participants took part in an introductory session on birdwatching, with a particular focus on waterbirds, while children and their parents participated in a migratory bird art competition. The nature photographers explored the Can Gio wetlands for their subjects and submitted exciting documentation of the diverse waterbird species present under the photography competition segment of the event. All participants then took part in a panel discussion on waterbirds and bird conservation led by leading bird experts. 

“We are very excited to see such a strong participation in our event, which is definitely above expectation, and shows us the rising interest in biodiversity in Saigon and across the country in spite of the challenges we face in protecting it”, observed Mr. Nguyen Hoai Bao, director of WildTour, a co-organiser of the event. Mr. Nguyen Hao Quang, coordinator of the Mekong Delta Shorebird Project who also led the organising team agreed, noting that the Vietnamese public is increasingly aware of migratory birds and their value in recent years. “This change in Vietnam is very encouraging for us as bird conservationists", he said. 

Mr. Edmund Cheng, Chairman of Mapletree shared, "We are happy to extend our support for migratory bird conservation into Vietnam, as we did for the Singapore Bird Race since 2019. Vietnam is one of the key focus markets of Mapletree in Asia. We hope that Mapletree’s support will help to spur more interest in the importance of environmental conservation in the region.” 

Mr. Vinayagan Dharmarajah, Regional Director of BirdLife International said, “We are very grateful to Mapletree for their continued support for our bird conservation work in Southeast Asia, and helping raise awareness of the plight of migratory species under our Mekong Delta Shorebird project. The sponsorship has allowed us to sustain our conservation outreach on wetlands and migratory birds in Vietnam, a priority for BirdLife’s Global Flyways Programme.” 

The Mekong Delta Shorebird Project was convened by BirdLife and WildTour in 2019 to raise the profile of migratory birds and their conservation in the wetlands of the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam. The Delta supports some of Vietnam’s best known wetlands, and have been identified to be important for the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. ‘Tạm biệt chim di cư’ was first convened in 2022 to engage local communities and the public on migratory birds, and have drawn a sustained increase in participation since. 

An exhibition featuring winning photographs from ‘Celebrating Migratory Birds in Vietnam’ will be held at SC VivoCity (Ho Chi Minh City, District 7) in October 2023, co-organised by BirdLife, Mapletree and WildTour. 

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 Figure 1. The ‘Celebrating Migratory Birds in Vietnam’ organising team and its team of volunteers. 


Figure 2. The ‘Celebrating Migratory Birds in Vietnam’ organising team, its team of volunteers and participants

Figure 3. Introduction to birdwatching using telescopes and binoculars. 


Figure 4. Following the introductory session, children participated in a Bird Art Competition where they were encouraged to draw and colour a waterbird of their choice. Each child was also given an opportunity to introduce their drawings to all participants and present their reasons for drawing and colouring their choice bird.  

Figure 5. Prize presentation ceremony for the top five bird artworks. 




Grace Sung
Ding Li Yong PhD
Assistant Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility

Flyways and Advocacy Manager & Regional Flyways Coordinator
Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
BirdLife International  
Tel: (65) 6804 8474

Tel: (65) 9838 2675

Grace Lee

Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd

Tel: (65) 6377 6218



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