European Union funds biodiversity conservation project in central VN
 
Viet Nam News
Dec 12, 2020
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Two red-shanked douc langurs in the nature reserve of Sơn Trà in Đà Nẵng city. The primate is endangered. — Photo courtesy of GreenViet

ĐÀ NẴNG — The European Union (EU) is funding a biodiversity protection and environmental sustainability project in central Đà Nẵng City in 42 months from July 2020, to the end of December 2023, with total funding of 650,000 euros.

The project, entitled ‘Establishing a funding foundation for biodiversity protection and environmental sustainability in Đà Nẵng’, aims to strengthen civil society organisations (CSOs) of the city and the central and Central Highlands provinces in environmental protection by diversifying financial resources.

"The event is held at the time when the COVID-19 pandemic has again shown us the importance of living in harmony with nature. We are convinced the project will bring tangible results on biodiversity conservation through the effective operation of the foundation”, Jesús Laviña, Deputy Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Việt Nam, said at the launching ceremony last week.

“We believe that this project will motivate and support local CSOs in initiating practical projects to help the Government effectively address issues related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable environmental protection in Đà Nẵng and the central and Central Highlands regions,” said Dr Hà Thăng Long, chairman of the GreenViet's Founding Council.

“Resolving the problem of finance and improving technical capacity and financial management to local CSOs is an effective method to sustain the contribution of local conservation organisations to the city and the region," he added.

This project will help diversify financing resources for Vietnamese CSOs including 50 groups and organisations working in biodiversity conservation and environmental protection, and fund 21 biodiversity conservation initiatives.

It will also help build capacity for raising awareness and co-operation among businesses and individuals to provide sustainable funding for conservation, communication and education, patrolling and monitoring to protect the red-shanked douc langurs, the endangered primates in Sơn Trà peninsula.

Bùi Thị Minh Châu, representative of the Gustav-Stresemann Institute (GSI, Germany), co-coordinator of the project affirmed: “This project contributes a unique initiative to the city that is to research and develop feasible mechanisms for businesses, local community and tourists (domestic and international) to participate in the conservation of nature and environmental protection of Đà Nẵng and the central and Central Highlands regions.”

“This initiative not only helps conservation CSOs to have more diverse financial resources from the private sector and community but also brings a new and innovative direction for businesses, individuals and tourists to directly contribute to protecting the environment of the city in a more sustainable way,” she said.

Threats

Sơn Trà Nature Reserve, 10km from Đà Nẵng’s centre, is known for its rich biodiversity with 387 species of animals and 1,010 species of plant.

The city’s People's Committee has approved a master plan on biodiversity conservation in 2030 in line with long-term socio-economic and sustainable development goals.

Total funds of nearly VNĐ100 billion (US$4.4 million) have been planned for conservation, forest protection and afforestation as well as establishing new reserves on an area of 43,722ha including current nature reserves Sơn Trà, Bà Nà-Núi Chúa and Nam Hải Vân, as well as South Hải Vân forest.

According to local rangers, traps and illegal hunting are still found in the reserve, while many restaurants, resorts and villas have been built in the reserve.

Biologists warn that the development of concrete buildings will push the endangered primates into extinction.

A report from GreenViet unveiled that an estimated 30 per cent of the habitat of fauna and flora species has been damaged due to mass construction of resorts and buildings.

More than 85km of concrete roads have been built in Sơn Trà reserve to serve tourism, while 17 hotels and resorts were completed and 14 other projects are planned.

Mass construction of hotels and resorts have driven away primates and other wildlife from their habitat and isolated flocks from natural food chains that are available throughout the 4,300ha forest, according to biologist Trần Hữu Vỹ. — VNS

 
 
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