First Vietnamese recognised as ASEAN Biodiversity Hero

NDO – The Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) held a ceremony on August 16 to celebrate Prof. Dr. Dang Huy Huynh’s as the ASEAN Biodiversity Hero. Huynh, President of the Heritage Tree Council and Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE), is the first Vietnamese citizen and one of the 10 outstanding individuals from ASEAN member states to receive such a noble title on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN. The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes are individuals with significant contributions to the ASEAN biodiversity, through their activities and initiatives, contributing actively to the socio-economic development in their respective countries and in the region. During his over 60 years of research in biology, Prof. Huynh has made many contributions to the preservation of biodiversity in Vietnam and in the surrounding region. He possesses the ability to inspire the community in biodiversity conservation and development, and is recognised as one of Vietnam’s leading scientists. Prof. Huynh has been presented with nearly 20 orders and medals of different types, including the Ho Chi Minh Award (twice) – Vietnam’s most noble award in science and technology, the Vietnam Environmental Award in 2009, and a certificate of merit from the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in recognition of his devotions to biodiversity conservation activities in 2015, among others. Holding a myriad of positions, both appointed by the State and entrusted by the society, concerning the environment, Prof. Huynh has implemented specific and practical…... [read more]

A gray-shanked douc langur (pygathrix cinerea) in central Vi​etnam. Qu​ang Nam Province plans to restore a 80ha forest to protect a herd of 50 gray-shanked douc langurs in N​ui Th​anh District. (Photo: GreenViet) Quang Nam (VNA) - The central province of Quang Nam plans to restore a 80ha forest as habitat for a herd of gray-shanked douc langurs living in Dong Co village, Tam My Tay commune.   Huynh Tan Duc, director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development, said the forest area in question had been allocated for acacia – one of the most profitable woods in the central region, but this stole the endangered langurs’ natural habitat. He said the langurs now live in a 5ha primary forest, and face being hunted by locals as well as poachers. “We will replant some indigenous species to provide food for the primates. A large area of forest will be restored from the commune to the riverhead of Phu Ninh, Bac Tra My and Tien Phuoc districts in the province,” Duc said, adding that the forest area will help connect with primary forests in neighbouring Quang Ngai province.   “The department will collaborate with local administrations and rangers to hold more patrol and protection of the langurs, and communications for local residents on the importance of the langurs,” he said. The department will survey the langurs and their habitat in order to create a safe shelter for them in a 4,000ha forest in Tam…... [read more]

The central province of Quang Nam plans to restore a 80ha forest as habitat for a herd of gray-shanked douc langurs living in Dong Co Village, Tam My Tay Commune. A gray-shanked douc langur (pygathrix cinerea) in central Viet Nam. Quang Nam Province plans to restore a 80ha forest to protect a herd of 50 gray-shanked douc langurs in Nui Thanh District.  Huynh Tan Duc, director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development, said the forest area in question had been allocated for acacia – one of the most profitable woods in the central region, but this stole the endangered langurs’ natural habitat. He said the langurs now live in a 5ha primary forest, and face being hunted by locals as well as poachers. “We will replant some indigenous species to provide food for the primates. A large area of forest will be restored from the commune to the riverhead of Phú Ninh, Bắc Trà My and Tiên Phước districts in the province,” Đức said, adding that the forest area will help connect with primary forests in neighbouring Quảng Ngãi Province. “The department will collaborate with local administrations and rangers to hold more patrol and protection of the langurs, and communications for local residents on the importance of the langurs,” he said. The department will survey the langurs and their habitat in order to create a safe shelter for them in a 4,000ha forest in Tam Trà Commune, Núi Thành District, he added. Trần Hữu Vỹ, director of the Centre…... [read more]

Huynh Tan Duc, director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development, said the forest area in question had been allocated for acacia – one of the most profitable woods in the central region, but this stole the endangered langurs’ natural habitat. A gray-shanked douc langur (pygathrix cinerea) in central Viet Nam. Quang Nam Province plans to restore a 80ha forest to protect a herd of 50 gray-shanked douc langurs in Nui Thanh District.   He said the langurs now live in a 5ha primary forest, and face being hunted by locals as well as poachers. “We will replant some indigenous species to provide food for the primates. A large area of forest will be restored from the commune to the riverhead of Phu Ninh, Bac Tra My and Tien Phuoc districts in the province,” Duc said, adding that the forest area will help connect with primary forests in neighbouring Quang Ngai province. “The department will collaborate with local administrations and rangers to hold more patrol and protection of the langurs, and communications for local residents on the importance of the langurs,” he said. The department will survey the langurs and their habitat in order to create a safe shelter for them in a 4,000ha forest in Tam Tra commune, Nui Thanh district, he added. Tran Huu Vy, director of the Centre of Biodiversity Conservation, GreenViet, said that the centre will help the province track the langurs and offer more measures to…... [read more]

At a seminar regarding the PES policy in Hanoi on February 26, MARD Deputy Minister Hua Duc Nhi said that the decree will help stabilise the lives of forest growers and protect forests and their resources, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing climate change. According to Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Vietnam, Francis Donovan, Vietnam is the first country in Southeast Asia to create a PES policy. Successful implementation of this policy will help mobilise all resources for forest protection, he added. Jim Peters, Director of the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Programme (ARBCP), spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in financing forest environmental services. The Central Highland province of Lam Dong and the north-western province of Son La, where the pilot PES policy is being implemented, have established a mechanism for scientific exchange and successfully managed payment methods between sellers and buyers, he said. Emphasising the great benefits that the implementation of the PES policy will bring to the national economy, Peters also warned of difficulties and challenges during the process. Participants at the seminar, jointly held by MARD, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) organisation and WINROCK International, focused discussions on levels of payments for forest environmental services as well as payment methods. An international conference on experiences in implementing the PES policy is expected to be held in Vietnam in June.... [read more]

“As a new social policy, the PES Policy aims to promote the protection of forests, the environment and water resources, combining efforts to deal with climate change to bring practical benefits to forest growers,” the Deputy PM told a conference to review the Prime Minister’s decision relating to pilot payments for forest environmental services in Hanoi on March 9. The PES Policy has been implemented on a trial basis in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong and the northern province of Son La since 2008 with technical and financial assistance from WINROCK International, USAID, and the GTZ. In localities where the PES Policy is enforced, local people who take part in growing and protecting forests act as providers as well as beneficiaries of forest environmental services while the users of resources from protected forests, such as hydro-electric power plants, are required to pay for forest environmental services. According to Hoang Si Son, Vice Chairman of the Lam Dong Provincial People’s Committee, up to 80 percent of forest environmental services payments collected have been given to local people, helping a sizable number of poor households escape from poverty. The remaining 20 percent were used to re-invest in tree planting and forest protection in the locality, partly helping reduce local authorities’ dependence on the State budget allocated for the work. Jim Peters, Director of the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Programme (ARBCP), said that Vietnam has implemented the pilot PES Policy successfully. The outcomes of the PES Policy implementation in Lam Dong…... [read more]

On the theme of ‘Climate Change’, Vietnamese and foreign volunteers joined local children and social workers in Hai Duong province in what was called “an international camp” on June 5. Another 50 volunteer camps will be held in 6 cities and provinces nationwide, drawing the participation of thousands of Vietnamese and foreign youths. The most outstanding volunteers will be chosen to take part in training courses to convey messages about the need for a green, clean and beautiful environment and how to reduce the impact of climate change for sustainable development. In addition, the volunteers will live in the community for a certain period of time to get a clearer idea of the situation so as to design a suitable strategy for local people to bring about measures to cope with climate change most effectively. A website will be set up to link Vietnamese and foreign organisations and send information to related agencies through Facebook or blogging, e-mail to other environment protection clubs. *** In Ho Chi Minh City: Over 1,000 people took part in a meeting to respond to World Environment Day in Binh Phu Park, District 6 on June 5, organised by the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Activities will focus on biodiversity conservation such as planting trees, reintroducing animals into the wild, refraining from using food that originates from wild animals and mobilising people not to drop litter in public. Fourteen wards in District 6 signed a commitment to implement measures to combat littering. In…... [read more]

Addressing the opening ceremony of the ASEAN exhibition on biodiversity in Hanoi on August 3, Mr Karmain emphasised that ASEAN is well known as one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the world, and renowned for its rich biological heritage. However, he said, the region is at risk with hundreds of species in ASEAN being threatened with internal and external socio-economic stresses, especially climate change. “So, the exhibition not only promotes public awareness and the need for people’s participation on biodiversity conservation but also strengthens cooperation among countries, within the region and beyond,” he added. Bui Cach Tuyen, Director-General of the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said raising public awareness is of significance to enhance people’s sense of responsibility for the protection of natural resources, including biodiversity. The exhibition, organised following the Vietnam’s initiatives as the ASEAN Chair on the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Environment from August 2-7, was part of activities in response to the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 with the slogan “Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life”. Among 28 national protected areas listed in the ASEAN Heritage Parks, Vietnam contributes four, including Ba Be, Chu Mom Ray, Hoang Lien and Kon Ka Kinh.... [read more]

It is part of the “Avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation in the border area of southern Laos and central Vietnam for the long-term preservation of carbon sinks and biodiversity” project of the WWF Greater Mekong Programme. The sub-project aims to develop a sustainable management and protection of approximate 200,000 ha trans-boundary forest area which contains global biodiversity values and high level of ability to absorb carbon dioxide. The aim is to avoid emissions of 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide delivering from deforestation and forest degradation. The sub-project, supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, is scheduled to run in four years. It covers the two Sao La Nature Reserves and the Bach Ma National Park in Vietnam and the Xe Sap National Protected Area in Laos. These areas are connected with Phong Dien and Song Thanh Nature Reserves in Vietnam via natural forest corridors. WWF Vietnam – Central Annamites Landscape Manager, Van Ngoc Thinh said: “The success of the sub-project will be seen through many indicators including reforestation and protection of assigned forest areas, reduced impacts to forests from illegal logging, increased diversity and populations of mammals, and additional income of local households”.... [read more]

The celebration is held annually by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam, Biodiversity Conservation Agency, and the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, TRAFFIC. Over the years, Vietnam has exerted significant efforts in tiger conservation by banning tiger hunting and putting the animal on the list of endangered species in need of protection. However, hunting, illegal trade and illicit transport of this iconic animal are becoming prevalent due to the huge potential for economic profit. According to the 2010 Report from Education for Nature-Vietnam, the country is on the verge of tiger extinction. It is estimated that only 3,200 wild tigers survive worldwide, their population having decreased by about 95 percent and their range by 93 percent since 1900. This steep decline is mainly due to heavy poaching and the illegal trade in tiger paraphernalia to supply a thriving black market demand. As well as this, loss of habitat due to deforestation and an increase in the number of animals preying on tigers have also led to their decline. Vietnam is a significant market for tiger products, as illegal medicines made from tiger bone and tiger wines have become popular, especially among the wealthy, because of their supposed remedial powers. The demand for tiger parts in Vietnam has led to animals being smuggled in from elsewhere in the region. In March and June of last year, three tigers sourced from Laos were seized in Vietnam, believed to be intended for further domestic distribution. The country is also a transit point for a…... [read more]




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