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Hunting and trapping threaten 88% of Vietnam`s key conservation sites

Hanoi, Vietnam, 13th March 2003 -- BirdLife International launched its Key Sites for Conservation in Vietnam…

The publication is the first ever list of the sites internationally recognised as the most critically important places for bird and biodiversity conservation, and identifies the main threats affecting them. It found that almost 88% of these sites (56 out of a total of 63) are affected by illegal hunting and trapping of their valuable wildlife. Wild animals such as bears, primates and turtles are being trapped or shot in large numbers, largely because of the massive increase in wildlife trade following the opening up of Vietnam`s borders and road development into remote areas. said Richard Grimmett, Head of BirdLife International`s Asia Division. However, it is not all gloomy news thanks to the far-sighted commitment of the Vietnamese Government to biodiversity conservation, which has led to the recent establishment of more than six protected areas to protect Vietnam`s unique wildlife. he continued.Another welcome development is the recent establishment of site-support groups, for example at Ha Nam island, where members of the local community have come together to draw up a plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of their area, both for themselves and the wildlife found there. Speaking about the publication, the Ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam, His Excellency Bjarne H. Sorensen, commented In recent years, Vietnam has captivated the world through the discovery of a remarkable series of new bird and mammal species. Sadly, however, as in many other regions of the world, rapid population growth and economic development are threatening the rich biodiversity for which Vietnam is so rightly famed.The publication describes a network of Important Bird Areas, the protection of which would go a long way towards the conservation of biodiversity and the wider environment in Vietnam. It is my hope that it will be of use for government agencies, donors and NGOs. he added.
Vietnam has remarkably rich biodiversity. Earlier fieldwork aimed at identifying Vietnam`s key conservation sites as part of BirdLife`s Important Bird Area programme, led to the discovery of three species of bird new to science. [Black-crowned Barwing, Golden-winged Laughingthrush and Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush.]The directory`s aims are to inform decision-makers at local, national and international levels of the biodiversity value of sites, to identify threats to this biodiversity, and to recommend appropriate steps that can be taken to ensure its conservation. It also identifies clear priorities for conservation action, and encourages government agencies, donors and NGOs to address them.

4th July 2014