By Ally Catterick
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has developed a project focusing on the illegal cross-border wildlife trade in Central Vietnam and hopes to be granted permission to implement the programme in July for Quang Binh and in August for Ha Tinh Province, both in Vietnam.
The new programme will protect wildlife found in Nakai Nam Theun National Protected Area (NPA), the most significant block of protected area in the Annamites, a mountain range straddling Lao PDR and Vietnam. The initiative intends to lay the foundations for a long-term commitment in central Lao PDR, aiming to reduce illegal wildlife trade and protect threatened species in Central Vietnam and in the region through transboundary cooperation.
John Parr, FFI’s Vietnam Country Director, worked across the international border in Nakai Nam Theun NPA between 2008 and early 2010, and recognised there was little focus on the intensive poaching and illegal transboundary wildlife trade, and the populations were suffering. He said, “the protected area is one of the most important sites for biodiversity conservation in Indochina, and Southeast Asia. The initiative is full of promise, but one that is being severely undermined by such intensive pressures.”
The Nakai Nam Theun NPA represents Lao PDR’s largest and most diverse natural forest area. Up to 117 mammal species are known from the national protected area and parts of the adjacent Nakai Plateau. Three of the last five large mammals to be discovered or re-discovered worldwide occur in the Nakai Nam Theun NPA, including the Critically Endangered Saola. More....