(QNO) - The conservation project for biodiversity and ecosystems of the Central Annamites was launched on May 30. Thousands of people in the Central Annamites join the CarBi II project to contribute to the protection, restoration and sustainable use of ecosystems, and the conservation of biodiversity in the Central Annamites landscape, to protect and enhance their livelihoods. The project which is built on the successes of phase I aims to improve the natural resources management in a trans-boundary forest complex of around 242,000 hectares in Laos (Sekong and Salavan province) and in Vietnam (Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam provinces).
The Central Annamites landscape holds one of the biggest contiguous natural forests in continental Asia, constituting a reservoir of rich and unique biodiversity. The landscape as a whole contains 134 mammal species and over 500 species of birds. There are several rare, endemic and lesser-known species that only in recent years have become known to science, such as the critically endangered Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) and large-antlered muntjac (Muntiacus vuquanghensis).
Building on the successes of phase I, CarBi II will continue to address the prominent threats to the biological diversity and ecosystems in the region with expanded and intensified activities. Increased engagement of the local people, who are still poor and depend mostly on natural resources for their livelihoods, aimed at raising awareness and stimulating positive behavior change towards conservation, is one of the key philosophies of the project. The project will also support alternative livelihood opportunities and decrease incentives for illegal exploitation of natural resources. A new approach which the project will pursue in phase II, is the establishment of several Village Development Funds which will be managed by the local communities, facilitating a borrowing facility for them to generate more income streams from selected agro-forestry-based activities and other alternative livelihoods. At least fifty villages in the project area will benefit from this activity, of which at least thirty will be in Vietnam.
“Forests cover 58% of total land area in Quang Nam and 70% of this are still primary forests. As a forest, this is a treasure and is one of the most important elements in the biosphere, playing a critical role in socio-economic development to sustain the ecology and environment. CarBi’s efforts in conserving biodiversity and ecosystems are highly appreciated. Looking at the achievements of the project's phase I, I believe phase II will bring positive changes to conservation, as well as contribute to the province’s economic development”, said Mr. Le Minh Hung, Vice Director of Quang Nam’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
The project will be implemented over a 5-year period (2019 – 2024) by WWF-Vietnam and Laos, primarily funded by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Conservation and Reactor safety (BMU) of Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW) and WWF.