With diverse ecosystems and flora and fauna systems, the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park is the core zone of the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve which is a typical location and an amazing experience for tourists and scientists to this area. The Langbiang Biosphere Reserve contributes to make Đà Lạt city (Lâm Đồng province) to become a center for tourism, education and scientific research in Việt Nam as well as an international research center on tropical forests. On the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity (22th May, 2016), Environment Magazine had an interview with Mr. Lê Văn Hương - Director of the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park on forest protection, biodiversity conservation in this area.
|Mr. Lê Văn Hương - Director of the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park|
Can you tell us about some results of forest resources management and protection and biodiversity conservation in Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park in recent years as well as current difficulties and challenges?
Mr. Lê Văn Hương: Currently, Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park is assigned to manage 70,038 ha forest and forestland. Since its establishment in November 2004, the National Park has achieved some results in forest management and protection, as well as biodiversity conservation.
During the period 2005 - 2010, violation cases of forest management and protection reduce from 260 cases in 2005 to 105 in 2010 and 30 in 2015; violation scope is less serious; particularly big or complicated violation cases are increasingly reducing which is reflected through seized goods and violation fines. In 2015, the administrative fines submitted to the state budget by the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park is 56.6 million VND. According to data of the first five months in 2016, the number of violation cases tends to decrease compared to that in the same period in 2015 (10 cases compared to 12 cases in 2015). Currently, the National Park has contracted 58,058.06 ha forest to 1,482 ethnic minority households for protection with the payment up to more than 20 billion VND/year, from the payment for forest environmental services.
Forest management and protection is the most important content of biodiversity conservation. Population, species and genetic resources conservation only achieves its results when forests are well protected and have the active participation of the local communities. To achieve conservation targets, other contents are also important such as scientific studies, environment explanation and international cooperation. In recent years, despite limited resources, the National Park has collaborated with domestic and international organizations to implement scientific schemes such as: isolate and select extracellular microbial enzymes; conduct the survey on avian, amphibian and reptile systems; study the distribution of the flora system and bats; site mapping, study biodiversity of terrestrial fauna and freshwater fish; study the diversity of insects; survey the diversity of ferns in the Central and Southern regions; survey and collect samples for flora genetic resources conservation in the National Park. In 2015, the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park has discovered five new species, including: two flora species (Billoliviatichii, Billoliviakyi); two insects (Lobofemorabidoupensis; Aegosomageorge); one fish species (Onychostomakrongnoensis). Currently, the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park has had cooperation relationships with more than 20 domestic and international organizations on scientific study for conservation.
However, in recent years, the expansion of illegal agriculture cultivation, illegal logging and wildlife hunting, the over exploitation of forest products and forest fires... are challenges in forest management and protection and biodiversity conservation. In addition, the lacks of human resources and investment sources are barriers to achieve management objectives in conservation not only in Việt Nam.
Langbiang Biosphere Reserve is recognized as the world biosphere reserve, so does Lâm Đồng province have any plans to connect with domestic and international biosphere networks, in order to share conservation experience and promote biodiversity values?
Mr. Lê Văn Hương: Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park was assigned by the Lâm Đồng Provincial People’s Committee (PPC) to develop the proposal to submit with UNESCO to recognize the Langbiang area, including the core zone of the National Park as the world biosphere reserve. At the 27th annual meeting of the International Coordinating Council of the Man and Biosphere Programme (ICC-MAB/UNESCO) took place from 5th to 15th June, 2015 in Paris (France), the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve proposed by the People’s Committee of Lâm Đồng province (hereinafter referred as PPC), Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and the Viet Nam Man and Biosphere National Committee (MAB Viet Nam) was recognized as the 9th World Biosphere Reserve of Việt Nam. Currently, Lâm Đồng PPC is preparing to establish the Management Board as requested by the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO and MAB Viet Nam. According to the proposal by the National Park, one international counselling committee will be established to support the Biosphere Reserve Management Board to connect with the biosphere reverse network in the world to share conservation experience and to promote biodiversity values of the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve according to the slogan “Conservation for development, development for conservation”. The executing management plan of the Lambiang Biosphere Reserve’s Management Board proposed by the National Park was submitted to Lâm Đồng PPC for approval; a scientific study scheme in the Lambiang Biosphere Reserve according to the National Park’s initiative has been approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology and is being implemented from 2015 to 2017; a plan on biodiversity survey and monitoring and development of the marketing strategy for local products in the Lambiang Biosphere Reserve is being studied by JICA and implemented during the period 2016 - 2020.
|The Việt Nam Delegation attendance at the 27th annual meeting of the ICC-MAB/UNESCO from 5 to 15/6/2015 in Paris (France) to recognize Langbiang as the 9th World’s Biosphere Reserve in Việt Nam|
To promote landscape values and biodiversity, what are the plans that Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park Management Board implement in the future?
Mr. Lê Văn Hương: Management cooperation model in forest management according to the proposal by Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park is being implemented within the framework of the Sustainable Natural Resources Management Project supported by JICA. This is a new model in forest management in Việt Nam, of which local people are the focus and the partners to implement forest management activities with relevant stakeholders including the National Park. The management cooperation model in forest management is that stakeholders jointly discuss and negotiate to get consensus on roles, tasks, responsibilities and rights in order to achieve the objectives of forest management and protection and biodiversity conservation. Integrated values of ecosystem services will be shared to local people who actively participate in maintaining the ability to provide ecosystem services. To implement commitments of Việt Nam with the international community on conservation, ex-situ conservation activities have been implemented such as the establishment of the Vegetation Garden, the establishment of the Central Highlands Wildlife Conservation Park. To sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystem services, to promote values of the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve, tourism activities will be promoted according to the ecotourism development planning scheme of the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park which was approved by Lâm Đồng PPC. Tourism development is to promote socio-economic development through which to create jobs as well as to meet the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity which are also the objectives in the upcoming years of the National Park.
|Langbiang World’s Biosphere Reserve|
On the occasion of the International Day on Biological Diversity and the World Environment Day, did the National Park have any activities on raising community awareness about environmental protection, biodiversity conservation?
Mr. Lê Văn Hương: Forest management and protection propaganda and biodiversity conservation is one of nine operation programs of the Bidoup - Núi Bà National Park. In 2016, some activities have been put into plans for implementation including: maintaining the operation of the Green Club at secondary schools in Lạc Dương district, bell ringing contest on environment understanding; organizing the visit to the National Park for 12 schools in Đà Lạt and Lạc Dương to discover biodiversity; dissemination for the communities on regulations on forest management and protection; providing propaganda products and designs for entertainment programs relating to environmental education. On the occasion of the International Day on Biological Diversity on 22nd May 2016 and the World’s Environment Day on 5th June 2016, the National Park organized a meeting with the participation of 300 - 500 people (communities, tourists, youths and students). The objective was to support communities and students to enhance awareness and have practical actions in tree planting and protection, forest management and protection, biodiversity conservation, minimization of negative impacts on forest and environment. The meeting was also an opportunity to ask people to protect the Earth by specific actions such as nolittering, planting trees, saving clean water sources such as a commitment to sustainable development of the Langbiang Biosphere Reserve.