WWF continues funding conservation of environment in Mekong region

WWP Greater Mekong has planned a budget of millions of U.S. dollars for the conservation of the environment and landscapes in Vietnam and other nations in the basin of the Mekong River.
Eric Coull told the Daily that the budget for the landscape and environmental conservation within five years in the Mekong region could be a lot and amount to around US$80mil, which is sourced from the international network of the WWF.

"The Mekong region is very significant in terms of diversity," Coull said and explained that this was why the organization planned more investment in Vietnam and other parts of the region.

He said Vietnam had been recognized as one of the most important places in the world as the country, particularly its central region, is home to the Sao La, an endangered species of wild ox found only in remote regions of Vietnam and many other rare species.

WWF has identified the Truong Son area encompassing the central provinces of Quang Nam, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Tri as one of the prioritized landscapes to conserve as there are many specious species live in this part of the region.

Last year, scientists from WWF and Conservation International announced their discovery of the world's largest-known population of gray-shanked doucs in central Vietnam, with an estimated population of over 180 individuals.

The scientists compared the discovery to the finding a new country with over one billion people in it when putting it into a human perspective.

The gray-shanked douc, which is listed as one of the world's 25 most endangered primates, has only been recorded in Vietnam's five central and Central Highlands provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Kontum and Gia Lai.

The WWF also found new animal and plant species in a remote area of central Vietnam's Thua Thien-Hue Province. The new species include two butterflies and a snake, five orchids and three other plants, all of which are exclusive to tropical forests in the country's Annamites Mountain Range or a region known as the Green Corridor.

Coull stressed that WWF now helped Vietnam protect rare species and the habitats for them, and a typical case in the establishment of a continuous protected landscape covering over 2,900 square meters and stretching from Bach Ma National Park and other parts of central Vietnam to Xe Sap National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Laos.