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January 28, 2022, 7:07 pm

Restoration of Lang Sen Wetlands for biodiversity protection and improved livelihoods

(15:44:52 PM 13/11/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Building on the success of restoring the Tram Chim National Park, an internationally recognised Ramsar site, WWF aims to replicate its successes to conserve the typical wetlands of Lang Sen Wetland Reserve. Together, Tram Chim National Park and Lang Sen Wetland Reserve make up the last remnants of the once vast natural wetland known as the Plain of Reeds.

Restoration of Lang Sen Wetlands for biodiversity protection and improved livelihoods

Photo: Tieu Van Ut

The 4 year long project, “Avoidance of maladaptation through climate smart agriculture and restoration of Lang Sen wetlands in Vietnam”, is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and WWF-Germany, and implemented by WWF-Vietnam in partnership with Long An Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Lang Sen Wetland Reserve.

“There has been a long tradition of development support from Germany to Vietnam.  The Lang Sen project shows the importance of wetland restoration and supporting local livelihoods and how they can benefit from each other,” said Ms. Annette Frick, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Germany, Hanoi.

The wetlands around Lang Sen Reserve has been severely degraded over the years with wetland habitat converted to rice fields and inappropriate water management within the Reserve. Artificially high levels of water are maintained in the core zone of the Reserve to prevent forest fires, but this has led to change in habitats resulting in significant population declines of certain key species, including Sarus Crane, which have not been able to adapt to the change in its natural habitat and loss of feeding area. However, approximately 1,500ha of the Reserve is covered by wetlands and grasslands which are important breeding and wintering grounds for a number of wetland and migrating bird species, as well as an important spawning ground for many commercial fish species.

“Together with severe climate change impacts, a dense system of dikes and canals erected by the Government since 2004 in order to prevent forest fires has led to a massive disturbance of the natural hydrological regime,” said Ms. Nerissa Chao, Mekong Delta Landscape Manager of WWF-Vietnam.

“In the absence of appropriate management for the sustainable use of natural resources, local communities have been excluded from receiving any benefits from the Reserve resulting in illegal activity. In addition, the impacts of climate change in the area are affecting livelihoods and increasing vulnerability of local communities,” Ms. Chao added.

WWF aims to restore this wetland area to its natural condition by supporting the implementation of a new hydrological regime mimicing the historical water flows. At the same time, the project will build capacity of the Lang Sen Reserve staff in wetland management and monitoring for water, fauna and vegetation. The project will also address the impacts of climate change to the surrounding communities supporting the implementation of appropriate Climate Smart Agriculture models and explore potential opportunities for sustainable use of the wetland resources.

“The dike system is a consequence of the Government’s uniform policy on Forest Prorection and Development. What we want to advocate to local authorities is to adopt a wetland management model based on the needs of the natural ecosystem. We have demonstrated this approach successfully in Tram Chim National Park and would like to expand this to Lang Sen Wetland Reserve,” said Ms. Chao.

The project will improve biodiversity conservation in the reserve through strengthening Reserve management, supporting law enforcement, patrolling and monitoring, while improving local livelihood opportunities and reducing conflict between the Reserve and surrounding communities.



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