Two Vietnamese sites were recognized as global biosphere reserves by UNESCO at the 33rd session of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Program in Nigeria from September 13-17.
The biosphere reserves are Nui Chua National Park in the central province of Ninh Thuan and Kon Ha Nung Plateau in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.
The two newly recognized sites have taken a number of global biosphere reserves in Vietnam to 11, one of the highest in the world.
Baby turtles are released at Nui Chua National Park in the central province of Ninh Thuan. Photo: VNA
This is the first time since 2015 that Vietnam has had biosphere reserves nominated for voting by UNESCO, which took place on September 15 and comprised 34 member nations biennially elected by the UNESCO General Assembly.
Among the nine Southeast Asian countries which have biosphere reserves, Vietnam is second only to Indonesia in the number of biosphere reserves.
At a height of 1,000 meters above sea level, Nui Chua National Park is seen as a green lung of Ninh Thuan Province. It covers nearly 20,000 hectares of primeval forests and is home to a diversity of over 600 precious plant species and approximately 300 wild animal species.
Meanwhile, Kon Ha Nung Plateau includes two core zones of Kon Ka Kinh National Park and Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve on 65,000 hectares. The plateau has hundreds of animal and plant species, including rare ones like the gray-shanked douc langurs, the world's largest troop living in the central region of Vietnam.
Vietnam’s biosphere reserves include Can Gio Mangrove Biosphere Reserve (2000), Cat Ba Islands (2004), Red River Delta (2004), Kien Giang Coastal and Island Biosphere Reserve (2006), Western Nghe An Biosphere Reserve (2007), Ca Mau Cape (2009), Cu Lao Cham-Hoi An (2009), Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve (2011), Lang Biang Biosphere Reserve (2015) and the two newly- recognized sites.
“Biosphere Reserve” is a title awarded by UNESCO to “coastal or terrestrial ecosystems that help promote solutions to harmonize protection and preserve biodiversity with sustainable use of that area.”
The goal of the biosphere reserves is to ensure harmony between humans and nature through the implementation of the three main functions of conservation, development, and support.