Species and Biodiversity Conservation
Since WWF began working in Vietnam, we have made the strategic decision to establish The Green Corridors connecting the forests and fragmented habitat in order to constitute the vast corridors for species development; establish and support operational development, research activities and protect conservation areas in the national parks.
D13 Thang Long Int. Village
Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam
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From 2003 to present, throughout various projects such as the Biodiversity Corridor Initiative, Green Corridor Project, and Carbon and Biodiversity Project (CARBI), WWF has successfully connected almost 300,000 hectare of forest, 02 Saola Reserves and Xe Sap National Park in Laos PDR; creating a continuous biodiversity corridor- which has proven to be the ideal habitat for the endemic Saola species. WWF has since establish two Saola Reserves in Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue, creating an extension of the Bach Ma National Park.
WWF continues to support protected areas in variety of ways such as providing training for improving law enforced patrolling, interdisciplinary patrol and establishing an information network within the parks. Since 2011, WWF has collaborated with 02 Saola Nature Reserve and founded a force of forest guards working together with the forest rangers, to determine a tactical map highlighting the "hot spots" of illegal activity and geographical information systems (GIS), directly patrolling and protecting the forests. Until December 2014, the forest guards have spent nearly 31,000 days patrolling. During this time, they have destroyed 49,851 hunting traps, rescued many rare trapped animals, such as the Truong Son Muntjac, Red-shanked douc, Annamites striped rabbit, to name a few. They have also shut down more than 800 illegal logging and hunting camps.
With the efforts of preserving natural landscape along with the aim of expanding biodiversity corridors, creating habitat for all species, WWF has implemented restoration programmes by replanting indigenous native trees, handing over forests for protection, segmenting for assisted natural regeneration (ANR), etc... to recreate the continuous connection for this unique biodiversity area.
Starting in 2012, WWF has implemented a number of reforestation programmes including: The Community-Based Forest Management (2,800ha); Natural Forest Protection Contracts (3,000ha); New Planting and Reforestation with native trees (144ha); Assisted Natural Regeneration (431ha). These activities not only bring beneficial for conservation but also help local people increasing their incomes from the exploitation of non-timber forest in the assigned area, which motivates them to protect the forests.
WWF has conducted numerous of in-depth research studies on biodiversity in this region. Many camera traps have been set up by WWF’s experts in different places of the protected areas, national parks to record images of wild animals, especially the ungulates species in the wild. WWF also carried out many distinctive research approaches, such as collecting more leech samples, feathers, skins and animal feces, and parasite samples for DNA analysis to verify the genetic origin of animals in leeches’ blood. These systems have helped detect various kinds of rare animals in Annamites forests like Annamites stripped rabbit, Truong Son Muntjac, Asian black bear, gibbon, douc ... Especially in 2013, one image of Saola was recorded by the camera trap system, marking the return of one of the rarest mammals in the world after 15 years of searching.
These habitat changes have contributed significantly to Tram Chim National Park becoming recognised as the 2000th RAMSAR (a Wetland of International Importance) of the world. WWF provided support for Tram Chim National Park and Ca Mau National Park in the appraisal process to designate the world RAMSAR status. Currently, our organization continues supporting and nominating U Minh Thuong National Park and Lang Sen Wetland Nature Reserve in the designation of the next RAMSAR sites in the Mekong Delta. On 22th May, 2015, Lang Sen has officially certified as the 3rd RAMSAR sites of the Mekong Delta and the 7th of Vietnam.
WWF has planned and conducted many training courses to improve the abilities of resource management and law enforcement for work force and specialist in the natural reserve, to enable the sustainability of project achievements and improve the conservation efficiency for the nature reserves.
The community-based eco-tourism model, with the participation of local people living in the buffer zone of Tram Chim and Ca Mau National Park, has recently been implemented, in order to generate more incomes for the people whose livelihoods depend on natural resource exploitation - one of the main causes of poaching, deforestation etc.
In Tram Chim National Park, WWF works together with the park authorities, to build a community benefit sharing mechanism, for natural resources, whereby people are allowed to exploit the resources that were previously prohibited, in accordance with the sustainability model. These mechanisms have significantly changed people’s perspective and encouraged them to participate a more active approach to conservation.