Forest conservation in the central highlands of Vietnam
Conservation of Kon Ka Kinh National Park
The largest contiguous forest regions in Vietnam are to be found in the central highlands of this otherwise densely populated and intensively farmed country. The government is keen to preserve these remaining havens for the diverse and in some cases unique fauna and flora by setting up conservation areas. Illegal tree-felling, poaching and the steady expansion of cultivated land, however, respect no boundaries.
FZS is therefore supporting the administration of the Kon Ka Kinh National Park in its efforts to monitor and manage the 42,000 hectare park which itself is linked to further protected and unprotected forest regions. The poster child of the project is the grey-shanked douc langur which only occurs in central Vietnam and the largest population of which – just under 500 animals – is to be found in the national park. However, the Kon Ka Kinh highlands also constitute an important water catchment area and have been designated an international ASEAN Heritage Park.
The main focus of our efforts is on providing training and equipment for the rangers who carry out their work there in eight ranger-posts. GPS devices, motorcycles and cameras etc. have been procured and training provided on how to use the devices. On their patrols in 2013, the rangers and project workers removed 17 logging and hunting camps, arrested 17 loggers and hunters and destroyed more than 300 snares. 14 park employees were selected to take part in a study trip to the Cuc Phuong National Park and to the Van Long Nature Reserve. The employees spoke to the rangers there and compared notes e.g. on organisational matters and forest patrols.
FZS is supporting not only the rangers but also the park's environment education team. The team pays regular visits to schools in the surrounding area together with FZS project staff. The "Local Wildlife Awareness" programme was launched in seven schools in 2013.
More than 1,200 pupils took part. In addition, a special two-week "Nature and Primate Protection" course was held again in 2013 for biology students at Danang University. The related practical work was conducted in the Kon Ka Kinh National Park.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE DOING?
Supporting controls in the Kon Ka Kinh (KKK) National Park by providing equipment and training for the rangers.
Carrying out environmental education work among the Bahnar minority in the surrounding villages together with park staff.
Collaborating with Danang University in organising field courses and supporting dissertation projects.
Drawing up agreements with the People's Committee of the Gia Lai province (PPC), and a MoU with the KKK National Park.
Lobbying for biosphere reserve status, organising information events.