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May 19, 2022, 5:58 pm

Vietnam strives for 4-in-1 biosphere reserves

(10:51:58 AM 27/01/2015)
( - The outstanding characteristic of biosphere reserves in Vietnam is the 4-in-1 model: protection of the environment, development of local economies, advancement of scientific research, and adaptation to climate change.


Vietnam strives for 4-in-1 biosphere reserves


In 1980s, the Can Gio forest area, once called a “dead land” with 80 percent of area devastated during the war, was rehabilitated to become one of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful rehabbed mangrove-forest areas.


In 2000, it became the first Vietnamese biosphere reserve recognized by UNESCO.


Since then, seven more biosphere reserves have been recognized, including the Red River Delta, Cat Ba (recognized in 2004), Kien Giang (2006), the west of Nghe An (2007), Ca Mau Cape, Cham Isle (2009) and Dong Nai (2011).


If Langbiang biosphere reserve is recognized by UNESCO next year as expected, Vietnam would become the leading country in Southeast Asia in the number of the world biosphere reserves.


Preserving biodiversity, ensuring livelihood


In 2000, the Management Board of the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve, the wetland area from Thai Binh and Nam Dinh to Ninh Binh provinces, asked locals to stop catching oysters in the biosphere reserve’s core area. In exchange for this, they could cultivate oysters in certain areas.


This was a part of a project funded by a small grant from MFF (Mangroves for the Future). With support from the project, local farmers could earn multi-millions in dong from oyster cultivation for each crop.


Dr. Nguyen Hoang Tri, chair and secretary general of the National Committee of the Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB Vietnam), noted that biosphere reserves could not exist if they targeted only conservation purposes.


“Biosphere reserves can develop sustainably only when people also get benefits from their development,” he said.


Meanwhile, the farmers in the Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve have received support from the reserve’s management board to develop their products bearing the biosphere reserve’s brand.


Nguyen Thanh Hai, deputy chair of the management board, said the board and local farmers will register trademarks for seven groups of local products with the provincial Department of Science and Technology.


Biosphere reserves serve as a live natural museum that maintains and preserves biodiversity and cultural characteristics.


Many research works conducted in the biosphere reserves have caught special attention from the world’s science community.


These include the discovery of Ducampopinus krempfii, a plant which appeared during the dinosaur’s era and was thought to be extinct. It was found in Bidoup Nui Ba National Park, which is part of the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve. It is 1,600 meters tall.


Tia Sang

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