Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Biodiversity in Vietnam defends against climate change

Science Daily: Climate change is happening, and we must develop ways for all life to be able to cope, environmental advocates urge. WWF Vietnam Programme is looking at this through the development of resilient multifunctional landscapes that also work as forest corridors, assisting with species dispersal and adaptation, by changes in land-use practices.

The Central Annamites forests, an area known to have existed as continual forest despite climatic fluctuations of the past, stretches from evergreen forests in Vietnam and to the drier parts of the Annamite chain, which has encouraged high degrees of biological diversity. The landscape has become regarded internationally as a critical conservation priority in Southeast Asia as this biological diversity may be the key to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Population pressure on top of fragmented forest habitats mean that species trying to move and adapt to rapid climactic changes may have little option. At the same time, continuing forest loss means that people are losing important watersheds and protection from new more violent weather patterns.

…In order to create resilient ecosystems and livelihood opportunities for local people, a mosaic of protected area, watershed forest, and production forest is being created, combining existing nature reserves and three new protected areas in central Vietnam, which strengthens forest conservation through the creation of protected area forest corridors. This is particularly strong in Hue and Quang Nam Province where there is an east-to-west corridor connecting the coastal areas of Vietnam to the forests of Lao PDR…

Map of Vietnam from CIA World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons

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