Quang Binh, February 5th 2015
Le Thuy, Quang Binh – On February 5th 2015, in the headquarters of Le Thuy District People’s Committee, Quang Binh province, a forest environmental lease contract was signed between Le Thuy District People’s Committee, Dong Chau Watershed Protective Forest Management Board, and Viet Nature Conservation Centre. This activity is part of the project entitled “Protection of biodiversity and enhancement of ecosystem services of the Dong Chau – Khe Nuoc Trong Forest, Le Thuy District, Quang Binh Province”, which is planned to last 30 years, with funding initially secured from international NGOs, namely BirdLife International (with funding from Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation and BirdLife Gala Dinner 2013), IUCN Netherlands, and World Land Trust. Leasing forest environment in protection forest for scientific research and long-term biodiversity conservation is a pioneering model, applied for the first time in Vietnam.
According to the forest environmental service supply contract, Le Thuy District People’s Committee and Dong Chau Watershed Protection Forest Management Board will provide Viet Nature Conservation Centre with a 30-year (from 2015 to 2019) forest environmental lease of 768 ha of lowland broadleaved evergreen forest of Forest Compartment 528 within Dong Chau Watershed Protection Forest for scientific research and biodiversity conservation. Forest Compartment 528 was chosen because it supports moist evergreen forest at low elevations, which is suitable habitat for Edwards’s Pheasant – a Critically Endangered species endemic to Vietnam, being on the verge of extinction in the wild – and it is potentially a good site for its reintroduction if deemed necessary. In the last 3 years, biodiversity surveys using camera traps by Viet Nature Conservation Centre have recorded 63 species, many of which are globally Endangered or Critically Endangered such as Saola, Pangolin, Large-antlered Muntjac, Red-shanked Douc Langur, etc. in Dong Chau – Khe Nuoc Trong.
Mr. Le Trong Trai – Director of Viet Nature Conservation Centre – said: “Despite the relatively small scale of the forest environment lease, the 30 year duration shows our long term interest and commitment in supporting biodiversity conservation in Truong Son Key Biodiversity Area, which spreads from south-western Quang Binh to north-western Quang Tri provinces”.
Mr. Nguyen Quang Nam, Chairman of Le Thuy District People’s Committee said: “Protecting the forest of Dong Chau – Khe Nuoc Trong with its unique biodiversity for our future generations is the pride and responsibility of Le Thuy people and authorities. The Le Thuy district People’s Committee commits itself to investing the funds received from leasing the forest environment of Forest Compartment 528 in the protection of Khe Nuoc Trong forest”.
Mr. Pham Hong Thai, Deputy Director of Quang Binh Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, cum Director of Quang Binh Forest Protection Department emphasized: “For effective implementation of the project, Le Thuy District People’s Committee and Dong Chau Watershed Protective Forest Management Board should develop and effectively implement a plan to protect not only Forest Compartment no. 528 but also the entire Dong Chau – Khe Nuoc Trong forest estate; maintaining the lowland forest ecosystem of Dong Chau – Khe Nuoc Trong region in its entirety. On Viet Nature Conservation Centre’s side, in parallel with scientific research and biodiversity conservation activities as approved, Viet Nature should try to mobilize more resources to effectively support forest protection and management, improve the livelihoods of local communities in the project area, ensuring the sustainability of the project”.
The contract signing ceremony has assertively confirmed the parties’ commitment for long-term collaboration in managing Khe Nuoc Trong as a nature reserve in effect, as its unique biodiversity values deserve.
For more details, please contact:
Ms. Nguyen Thi Khanh Hoa
Viet Nature Conservation Centre
Apt. 202, 18T2, Le Van Luong Str., Hanoi
Tel: (84) (4) 6278 1380
Fax: (84) (4) 6278 1381