The Forest Management, Protection and Development force of U Minh Ha and U Minh Thuong National Parks (NP), together with Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) organized 2 full-day workshops to exchange and discuss the lessons learned and inspiration in forest and wildlife conservation. These discussions will contribute to solving current problems and challenges, at the same time promote more effective collaboration in conserving U Minh wetlands of Mekong Delta, which possess unique and isolated ecosystems, as well as the immense biodiversity.
The question “Why do we need to protect wildlife?” was once again analyzed through realistic perspectives. By doing so, two NPs and SVW will be “looking in one direction”, to quote Director of SVW Mr. Nguyen Van Thai, in understanding the value of forests and wildlife.
Workshop in U Minh Ha National Park. Photo ©SVW / Le My.
Mr. Tran Van Thang, Deputy Director of U Minh Thuong NP said: “Wildlife is an indispensable part of the biosphere where we humans are living. Wild animals are likened to an invaluable resource that empowers the whole development of our society, and an important link in the ongoing biological chain”.
At the workshops, representatives of NPs talked about the existing challenges in forest protection and management. According to Mr. Le Thanh Dung, Deputy Director of U Minh Ha NP, their difficulties include the annual risk of wildfires due to a lack of more sustainable solutions. Poaching activities in the forest have not been fully prevented. There are still some limitations in the capacity and welfare of the forest management and protection force.
Group discussion… Photo ©SVW / Le My
To jointly design solutions for the above problems, the officials and employees in charge of forest management, protection and development (43 people in U Minh Ha and 32 people in U Minh Thuong) and SVW openly discussed the following objectives: (1) to reduce the demand for wildlife around the NPs, (2) to raise public awareness on wildlife conservation, (3) to increase efficiency in patrolling and protecting forests inside the NP (e.g., better equipment, pay raise) and (4) to increase efficiency in law enforcement. Opinions from people who are directly involved in conservation activities will serve as the basis for planning the collaboration between the NPs and SVW in the coming time.
and share ideas… Photo ©Tuan Huynh_U Minh Ha National Park
In addition, touching and inspiring stories about SVW’s efforts to protect forests and wildlife were told. Ms. Le Thi Kim Ngan, SVW Education and Awareness Coordinator said: “It is the hard work in the forest and the true experience of the forest patrol force that motivate ‘not-in-the-woods’ people like us to try harder every day in order to inspire and encourage the community to protect nature and wildlife”.
The workshops also showed some successful efforts in forest protection and wildlife conservation in Pu Mat NP (Nghe An), which can provide ideas and motivations for future work in U Minh wetlands. “Social studies have shown that the development in the buffer zone is closely related to the survival of NPs. In the coming time, the two NPs and SVW will carry out activities to strengthen law enforcement, develop sustainable livelihoods and reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products in the buffer zone and around U Minh Thuong and U Minh Ha”, said Mr. Thai.