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Efforts made to conserve biodiversity at Phuoc Binh National Park

Measures are being carried out to conserve biodiversity at the Phuoc Binh National Park, which is home to a large number of rare fauna and flora species that face grave threats from climate change and human impacts.

The Phuoc Binh National Park covers nearly 25,000 ha in Bac Ai district, in the south central province of Ninh Thuan, and is between 300-2,000 m above sea level.

The park is currently home to 1,321 plant species, including 36 endangered species named in the Vietnam Red Data Book and 58 on the list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Additionally, 327 animal species have been found in the park, including 50 in the Vietnam Red Data Book and 29 on the IUCN list. Notably, Phuoc Binh habours four mammal species indigenous to Indochina, namely the yellow-cheeked gibbon, the black-shanked douc langur, the Owston’s palm civet, and the giant muntjac.

It is also one of the 63 bird sanctuaries in the country, with the biggest population of gaurs and deer among protected areas in Vietnam, according to the park’s management board.

This park is now a popular destination for researchers, students, and tourists.

However, its natural resources have been greatly affected by climate change and human activities in recent years. Prolonged water scarcity has made forest conservation and development more difficult.

Meanwhile, the park’s inaccessible terrain and contiguity to Khanh Hoa and Lam Dong provinces have also challenged the fight against violations of forest resources. Additionally, a large number of residents in the park’s buffer zone still rely on the forest to earn their living.

Faced with these facts, Director of the Phuoc Binh National Park Nguyen Cong Van assured that biodiversity conservation has always been a focal task of the park’s management board.

Each year, they coordinate with Vietnamese and foreign organisations to survey flora and fauna species. They have also built a botanical garden to collect and introduce rare plants, while working with relevant agencies of Ninh Thuan and Lam Dong provinces to cross-breed gaurs to create a species with select characteristics of wild gaurs, such as tolerance to harsh weather conditions.

At present, the park is implementing several projects to conserve the lingzhi mushroom, the “Phuoc Binh lonely banana” (ensete glaucum), and some rare orchid species.

Van noted that the management board has also worked with local authorities to support locals to improve their livelihoods and living standards so as to ease the pressure on the park’s natural resources.

They have assigned the protection of certain forest areas to local households, developed commercial forests, and created conditions for locals to take part in eco-tourism services. Communications have also been increased to disseminate the state’s laws and policies on forest protection.

These activities have helped reduce climate change and human impacts on the Phuoc Binh National Park, he added.