INTERNATIONAL DAY OF BIODIVERSITY 2010
 

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Viet Nam: 'Conservation begins with you!'

Announcement

The Action Day

Biodiversity in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

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Announcement

Original announcement of the event on this website (April 2010)


The Action Day

Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

‘Conservation begins with you!’ Motivated by the motto for this year’s Action Day in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, around 100 school children from its buffer zone were invited to take part and discover the environment they live in. Spread across different park locations, including the Nuoc Mooc Eco Trail, the Botanical Garden and the Animal Rescue Centre, the pupils were encouraged to learn about various animal and plant species and the importance of biodiversity.


“I really enjoyed the excursions and all the interesting activities,” said 14 year old Vo Thi Ngoc Anh. “The games in the Botanical Garden taught me a lot about all the different plants, like the Yellow Flame Tree (Peltophorum pterocarpum) and the Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum). Before, I had only seen these plants in textbooks. I hadn’t seen them in their natural surroundings but now I can identify them and even show others.” She added that the Action Day gave her the chance to reflect about the need of protecting the ecosystem, biodiversity and wild animals.


German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and its Vietnamese partners, together with support from German Development Service (DED), Cologne Zoo and the National Park authorities, organised the International Biodiversity Day in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province. The programme included Bio-monitoring activities and a drawing competition aimed at school children, as well as an Expert Panel Discussion on ‘Biodiversity and Development’.


Bio-monitoring with 100 school children

At the Nuoc Mooc Eco Trail the children had the opportunity to experience nature on their own terms. After a guided tour of the trail under the thick forest canopy, they spent the rest of the excursion exploring the river and its banks, there collecting Water Scorpions (Nepa cinerea), Water Stick Insects (Ranatra linearis), Diving Bell Spiders (Argyroneta aquatica) and Dragonflies (Odonata zygoptera). They analysed and identified their findings with the help of small magnifying glasses before releasing them back into their natural habitat.


Hearing about the tragic fates of some animals and learning what can be done to help them was the objective at the Park’s Animal Rescue Centre. The animals here, such as Pygmy Slow Loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), Stump-tailed Macaques (Macaca arctoides), Northern White-cheeked Gibbons (Nomascus leucogenys siki) and an Indian Rock Python (Python molurus), were either rescued from restaurants and private households or found in traps inside the National Park. As the children imagined the lives of the animals resident in this sanctuary and capturing their ideas in a picture story, debates arose why animals belong to the wilderness and should not be kept in cages.


Tran Duc Chung, 14 years old and the winner of the I love my forest drawing competition, proudly presented his picture: “I am so happy. I was dreaming of winning the competition and my dream really came true. My picture shows a harmonious Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park with its various animals.” Mr. Nguyen Van Huyen, Vice Director of the park added “the bio-monitoring excursions yesterday gave the students an opportunity to improve their practical knowledge about biodiversity. I hope we can repeat this event in the near future.”


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Panel Discussion on ‘Biodiversity and Development’

The following morning a group of international and national experts, biologists and scientists set out by boat on a guided tour through the impressive Phong Nha Cave. In the afternoon, they along with policy leaders, other stakeholders and National Park representatives shared information about the unique environment of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, its rich biodiversity and the urgent need for its conservation and sustainable management during a Panel Discussion in Dong Hoi City. Entitled ‘Biodiversity and Development’, the discussion saw the participation of Jake Brunner and Jay Anderson from IUCN, Katherine Mueller-Marin from UNESCO and Mr. Phan Duy Nga from Hanoi University.


Biodiversity in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park

The National Park is located in Quang Binh Province, about 500 km south of Viet Nam’s capital Hanoi and protects a large tract of Indochina’s limestone mountains with more than 300 grottos and caves.


Due to the high biological diversity and endemism, the park was classified as one of the world’s 200 most important eco-regions by WWF and in July 2003 UNESCO conferred it World Natural Heritage status because of its valuable karsts and extensive cave system. Today, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is home to over 800 vertebrate species, 113 reptile species and 388 species of birds, of which many are endemic. Surveys have also documented 906 genera and 2,651 vascular plant species. Of these, 79 species are listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. And yet new species are still being discovered today. A new gecko species (Lygosoma boehmeiwas) was found in 2005 by a group of Vietnamese and German scientists.


The most significant discovery and the result of a biodiversity survey in the caves undertaken in May 2010, in preparation for the action day, is the existence of a blind scorpion. Found in the Tien Son Cave, this new species also represents the first troglobitic scorpion in mainland Asia.


The National Park plays a key role in the region’s development. However, its rich diversity in flora and fauna is under increasing pressure from poaching, illegal deforestation and nomadic cropping. Many of the 65.000 people inhabiting the park’s buffer zone live below the poverty line. Quang Binh Province is one of the poorest regions in Viet Nam and peoples’ lives often depend on the natural resources of the park.


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Downloads

GDC_Press_Release.pdf

Press release "German Development Cooperation and Partners celebrate the International Biodiversity Action Day in Quang Binh Province"

52 K

Press_review.pdf

Press review on PNKB Biodiversity Day 2010 (Vietnamese and English)

3.9 M

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