What is the problem?
Forests in Vietnam (in this case Khe Nuoc Trong) are threatened by degradation due largely to illegal logging, farming and other land conversion uses.
Where is the problem?
As best described by World Land Trust, “Lying in the Annamite Mountain Range of north-central Vietnam, Khe Nuoc Trong (KNT) is one of the best remaining examples of Annamite Lowland Forest in the world. The protection of 20,000 hectares at Khe Nuoc Trong is supported by the Carbon Balanced Programme, working through WLT’s in-country partner Viet Nature Conservation Centre (Viet Nature).”
How are we trying to solve it?
We are supplying funding to aid with the work which World Land Trust carry out in the region. They explain their work far better than I could, so the following is taken from their website:
“Lowland forest of this type is one of the most threatened in Vietnam and is a global conservation priority. Much is largely fragmented, degraded or cleared for agriculture or plantation forest, or has been impacted during the war. Khe Nuoc Trong is therefore exceptional, one of the best remaining examples of its kind and provides connectivity between protected areas in the north and to the south.
It is designated as a Watershed Protection Forest (WPF), where logging and hunting are illegal, but non-timber forest products (NTFP) may still be extracted. Without adequate enforcement, however illegal timber extraction and poaching for both the local restaurant trade and wildlife trade will continue.
Threatened by degradation and recognising the exceptional biodiversity value of the forest, the project aims to elevate the levels of protection to that of a Nature Reserve, in readiness for official designation, expanding the protected area network within the wider landscape and maintaining connectivity between forest fragments.
This is an innovative long-term conservation project designed to cover 30 years. Birdlife International and IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN-NL) have also contributed, by funding a 30-year lease on part of the forest to act as a foothold while WLT is supporting improved protection of the entire forest. This type of lease had not been previously implemented in Vietnam, and the project has received strong support from the local government.
WLT is funding a team of rangers to carry out joint law enforcement activities with the local authorities and other stakeholders that include patrolling, surveying hunting practices and illegal wildlife supply chains, monitoring and snare removal.
These protection activities will reduce pressures on the forest, preventing degradation and allowing degraded areas to revert to high-quality forest.
It is estimated that the protection of the forest at Khe Nuoc Trong will sequester approximately 50,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year for the next 30 years.
To ensure the carbon aspect of the project has scientific rigour, WLT is funding a PhD student to research the impact of forest degradation on lowland tropical forests of Vietnam in partnership with Leeds University. Data collected by the PhD student is providing part of the basis for managing the Khe Nuoc Trong forest conservation project to meet standards for certification set by the CCBA.”
How can you help?
Deforestation and the impact it has on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a global issue which we all need to think about. By planting our own plants and lawns we are all going our little bit to help, however if you wanted to get involved with this exact project please feel free to donate to Wingham Wildlife Park Animal Welfare.