WWF helps protect thousands of ha of forest
QĐND - Wednesday, December 17, 2008, 20:46 (GMT+7)
A protective belt surrounding approximately 134,000 ha of primary forests has been established in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue under a World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-backed scheme.
A conference took place in Thua Thien-Hue on December 16 to review the four-year implementation of the project on biodiversity research, protection and sustainable development in a green corridor, which aims to help residents in the buffer zone improve their living conditions through the harmonising of biodiversity protection and community development measures.
The project, being implemented in 11 communes in Nam Dong, A Luoi and Huong Thuy districts at a total cost of almost US$2 million, has created a buffer zone for 134,000 ha primary forests linking the Phong Dien Natural Reserve, Bach Ma National Park and other forests in Quang Nam province and in highland forests adjacent to Laos’ Se Sap biological reserve.
These forests currently house more than 60 species of rare and precious wild animals, including saola, a unique species of cattle only discovered in 1992.
According to Chris Dicknson, advisor to the Green Corridor Project, scientists have identified a total of 869 plant species, including 159 species of orchids in the corridor, as well as 150 bird species, including four listed as being threatened worldwide and six named in Vietnam’s Red Book of endangered species.
Ninety one amphibian and reptile species have been identified in the area, including 17 named in the Red List by the IUCN, and 336 types of butterfly have been observed.
Twenty-two out of the 79 fish species to be found in the area are viewed as valuable and, out of the 54 species of mammal identified in the area, 30 are named in Vietnam’s Red Book and 24 are on the IUCN Red List.
According to Hoang Ngoc Khanh, director of the project, more than 9,700 ha of forests have been allocated for tending by local residents. Over 4,000 ha of forest have been marked off for tending and 959 ha of forest have been replanted in the three districts.
In addition, the project has organised a series of training courses and educational programmes to raise local awareness of the importance of biodiversity protection, and has helped them to increase their incomes while ensuring sustainable development in the area.Source: VOVNews/VNA