Over the past decades, doi moi, or renovation, has spread to most areas of Vietnamese life. At the earliest stages of the renovation process, a group of environmental researchers began petitioning the government for inclusion of environmental concerns within its development plans.

Their research and lobbying efforts resulted in Viet Nam’s first National Conservation Strategy and, in 1985, the founding of the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Since 1995, CRES has become one of the research and training centres within Viet Nam National University, Ha Noi (VNU) with four main functions:

(1) Research; (2) Training; (3) Consultation; and (4) Services on natural resources, environmental issues and sustainable development. Drawing on its own faculty of natural and social scientists, and in cooperation with both national and international institutions, CRES has become a prominent force in the fields of agro-ecosystem and sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, environmental education, environmental impact assessment, human ecology research, mangrove ecosystem research, and wetland restoration and conservation.

Through its fruitful activities, CRES has also become an influential force in the promotion of environmental awareness. Internationally, CRES is a member of IUCN, the scientific authority of CITES Viet Nam and partner of MAB Viet Nam. A number of awards were awarded to CRES’s staff in recognition of their contribution to natural resource conservation and environmental protection efforts including Blue Planet and Ho Chi Minh prizes. Since its establishment, CRES has implemented and taken part in 4 national programmes on environment and natural resources, 50 national level projects, 80 national cooperation projects, and 40 international cooperation projects. The Centre has also trained more than 600 scientists and managers on national environmental and natural resource issues. In addition, CRES has successfully organized more than 40 national and 20 International workshops.


To become the country’s centre of excellence for natural resources and environmental studies.


CRES is a focal point in providing leadership in the implementation of critical and strategic activities on biodiversity conservation, sustainable utilization of natural resources and environmental protection. CRES also promotes national and international collaboration in research, training, information dissemination and other activities in related areas.


To conduct multi- and inter-disciplinary research in biodiversity and environmental issues for decision making and sustainable development. To promote human resource development through formal education, raining courses, workshops and seminars for professionals, administrative managers, decision makers and the public at large.

To provide advice, support and services in related areas.

To promote networking, partnership and linkages through enhanced cooperation among related institutions of Viet Nam National University, as well as with other national and international institutions and communities