Plan aims to help wild ele­phants

Viet Nam News - - Environment -

HAØ NOÄI —The forests along the Vieät Nam-Laos bor­der were once home to many wild ele­phants. But to­day, barely 100 re­main.

A new plan re­cently signed by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Hoaøng Trung Ha i aims to help the dec­i­mated pop­u­la­tion re­cover.

Un­der the VNÑ278 bil­lion (US$13.3 mil­lion) plan, three con­ser­va­tion ar­eas for wild ele­phants will be set up in Puø Ma t, Ca t Tieân and Yok Ñoân national parks and those who il­le­gally hunt, trans­port or sell ele­phant meat or tusks will see stricter pun­ish­ments.

The plan will also fund re­search on the an­i­mal’s re­pro­duc­tive cy­cle in an at­tempt to in­crease the pop­u­la­tion.

Al­though ex­act num­bers are un­known, the Vieät Nam Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Forestry es­ti­mates that be­tween 75 and 130 ele­phants re­main in the coun­try, scat­tered in the prov­inces of Ñoàng Nai, Haø T nh, Ngheä An, Qua ng Nam and Thanh Ho a as well as through­out the Cen­tral High­lands.

Pro­fes­sor Ñaëng Huy Huyønh, chair­man of the Vieät Nam oo­log­i­cal So­ci­ety, praised the plan but em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of in­volv­ing lo­cal peo­ple.

“It is im­per­a­tive to is­sue poli­cies to en­cour­age eth­nic mi­nori­ties, in­clud­ing E eâ, Gia Rai and M’nong, who live in the Cen­tral High­lands re­gion a ma­jor home of ele­phants to join hands to pro­tect ele­phants,” he said.

Be­cause th­ese peo­ple may know more about ele­phants than any­one does, he ex­plained, their knowl­edge could help the plan suc­ceed.

Huyønh also pointed out that since ele­phants ’ habi­tats are about 20- 30 kilo­me­tres wide, much big­ger than those of other wild species, con­ser­va­tion ar­eas needed to be built on a large scale with plenty of food and suit­able ecosys­tems.

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment will co­op­er­ate with rel­e­vant agen­cies to im­ple­ment the plan, which will be funded by the State bud­get as well as in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als. —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Viet Nam

© PressReader. All rights reserved.