POST-CONFERENCE: SUGGESTIONS AND SOLUTIONS FOR SON TRA PENINSULA
2017-08-21 07:17:50 | Admin
The scientific conference on “Conservation and sustainable development of Son Tra Peninsula’s natural ecosystem” held on July 15th 2017 ended with lots of suggestions and solutions were made on protecting Son Tra for the future generations.
Dr. Ha Thang Long, Chairman of GreenViet, was GreenViet’s representative who attended and delivered a speech at this event. His speech was about the current status of Son Tra’s red-shanked douc langur. The speech also contained precious scientific information that is useful for scientists, journalists and representatives from government agencies in order to be aware of the importance of conserving the douc species and its genetic source.
Dr. Ha Thang Long (right) and Mr. Tran Huu Vy, Director of GreenViet hope that GreenViet’s suggestions will be taken into account.
Specifically, Dr. Long stated that the population of red-shanked douc langurs in Son Tra peninsula is more than 1300 individuals according to GreenViet’s recent research data. This is the only population which can be observed easily in the wild. The peninsula is an ideal and sustainable habitat for endangered red-shanked douc langur species which is listed in Viet Nam’s Red Book and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This statement is proven by the fact that many new-born individuals have been recorded in Son Tra. Therefore, Dr. Long emphasized that “Son Tra Nature Reserve plays an extremely important role in saving the species and its genetic source from extinction”.
According to GreenViet’s research, there is more than 1300 individuals of red-shanked douc langurs living in Son Tra peninsula.
In his speech Dr. Long also talked about risks and dangers that possibly threaten the doucs when tourism has been developed uncontrollably in Son Tra peninsula: collisions between doucs and vehicles, increase of illegal hunting activities, loss of the species’ living habitat caused by building construction and the risks of contagious diseases that are transmitted from doucs to humans and vice versa.
In relation to the above factors, Dr. Long proposed a suggestion which is the construction of a Green Corridor that would allow the animals to travel between east and west sides of Son Tra easily and safely. "It is necessary to develop and implement douc monitoring programs and improve the effectiveness of forest patrolling activities", Dr. Long pointed out that doucs and other wild animals in Son Tra should be protected more effectively through these activities.
The Green Corridor, a safe and convenient zone for the doucs to travel between the East and West sides of Son Tra peninsula, is essential in the species’ conservation
In addition, organizing controllable tourism activities, reducing construction especially at the north side of the peninsula, and running more educational programs focusing on the red-shanked douc langur are all practical means that contribute to the saving of the population of red-shanked douc langurs in Son Tra peninsula.
Information, opinions and suggestions by other participants at the conference are as below:
Dr. Luu Hong Truong confirmed that Son Tra peninsula with its unique ecosystem is an inseparable part of such a unique city like Da Nang. In particular, within only 4.300 ha area, Son Tra has 43 out of 1000 rare plant species and 24 out of 370 rare species of animals. Because of the high density of precious animals and plants in such a small area, the peninsula deserves to be continuously protected.
Dr. Luu Hong Phuong, Director of the Southern Institute of Ecology.
In water areas surrounding Son Tra there has been 42% depletion of the coral reefs in the past 10 years and the density of coral reefs also has decreased rapidly. In several areas, the coral reefs have even been destroyed completely. These are findings of M.S. Nguyen Xuan Hoa’s research on the current status of the biodiversity on coastal zones of Son Tra. Factors affecting to the degradation are: land reclamation, construction of infrastructure, sedimentation and the overexploitation of marine resources. Furthermore, environmental pollution and waste caused by human activities in urban areas, seafood exploitation, and catering and tourism activities are also potential threats to the existence of the coral reefs in coastal zones of Son Tra peninsula.
M.S. Nguyen Xuan Hoa from Nha Trang’s Institute of Oceanography
“This is the only protected area in the world that is entry free”, said Dr. Vu Ngoc Thanh. He stated that it is urgent to have regulations to help protect the core area of Son Tra Nature Reserve where most of red-shanked douc langur population lives. Dr. Thanh said that it is highly important to carefully consider all possible impacts to the environment in areas below 200 m since these areas are where many red-shanked douc langurs live.
Dr. Vu Ngoc Thanh, Director of Douc Langur Foundation
After presenting information about the diversity of medical plants in Son Tra, ASS Prof., Dr. Nguyen Van Tap suggested integrating awareness-raising activities about medical plants with ecotourism activities in Son Tra. Once tourists and local people are aware of the value of the medical plants growing in the peninsula, they will probably avoid exploiting or destroying the plants here. ASS Prof., Dr. Tap highlighted that the protection of medical herbs is a moral responsibility of current generation towards the future’s generations.
Dr. Le Khac Quyet, a primate expert, pointed out that Vietnam has 3 out of world’s 25 most endangered primate species. Therefore, saving primate species in Vietnam is a heavy responsibility to not only our country but also of the mankind.
Dr. Le Khac Quyet, a primate expert.
Lawyer Truong Trong Nghia also shared his view points on the spiritual, diplomatic, humanitarian and artistic values of Son Tra peninsula to society when it is protected. He took an example in which many large cities in the world always have forests or parks nearby for the purpose of healing citizens’ soul. If people’s mental health state is improved and their stress and pressure from working /living is reduced, they are able to contribute to the society more efficiently.
Lawyer Truong Trong Nghia, Ho Chi Minh City’s Congressman.
Mr. Huynh Tan Vinh, Chairman of Da Nang city Tourism Association, suggested that instead of constructing more lodgings in Son Tra, we should develop other ecotourism services such as cycling, camping, diving, hiking, fishing, etc. If Son Tra is successfully protected, Da Nang can become a one of a kind destination in the world.
Mr. Huynh Tan Vinh, Chairman of Da Nang city Tourism Association.
Dr. Pham Viet Thuan said that Son Tra deserves to be protected because of not only the red-shanked douc langur but also other animal and plant species. He stated that uncontrollable tourism development will destroy the peninsula’s ecosystem, and no amount of money can restore it. That’s why he suggested not developing tourist accommodation in Son Tra.
Dr. Pham Viet Thuan, Director of HCM Institute of Natural Resources and Environment.
Prof., Dr. Nguyen Hoang Tri, Chairman and Secretary General of the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Vietnam suggested the establishment of Hai Van- Son Tra Biosphere Reserve. To be a Biosphere Reserve, Son Tra peninsula would have to meet three criteria related to its function including conservation, development and support. When it would become a biosphere reserve, Son Tra will affirm its position and trademark at national and international levels. Thanks to this, awareness-raising activities and conservation activities can be more effective because the implementation of development projects in this area must be based on certain principles of a biosphere reserve.
Prof., Dr. Nguyen Hoang Tri, Chairman and Secretary General of the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Vietnam
ASS Prof., Dr. Vo Van Minh, Vice-president of Da Nang University of Education, emphasized that construction projects in Son Tra will obviously lead to an overuse of water supply. The consequence of this can be a water shortage on Son Tra, which not only have negative impacts on tourists and local citizens but also on all animals and plants.
Prof., Dr. Vo Van Minh, Vice-president of Da Nang University of Education.
Mr Huynh Phuoc, Vice President of Danang Union of Science and Technology Association, agreed that Son Tra peninsula should be conserved in its current state. “People do not die because of the lack of diamonds or cars, but they will surely die from lack of water or oxygen. That’s the human value of this conference.” said the Vice president.
Mr Huynh Phuoc, Vice President of Danang Union of Science and Technology Association
Dr. Huynh Thanh Nhan, Deputy Director of the Department of Biodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, participated in the conference with the desire of listening to opinions of scientists, organizations and associations in order to find out optimal solutions for Son Tra’s conservation and sustainable development. All opinions and suggestions will be reported to leaders of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for decision-making process.
Dr. Huynh Thanh Nhan, Deputy Director of the Department of Biodiversity Conservation,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
"Danang is a dynamic and innovative city where there are multiple ways to make money. But if trees in Son Tra are cut, they cannot be re-planted," said Mr. Tran Van Mui. He also mentioned that if the rich biodiversity of Son Tra is maintained, Da Nang will attract a lot of tourists.
Mr. Tran Van Mui, Director of Dong Nai Cultural Nature Reserve
Mr Ho Duy Diem suggested an immediate solution for the problem of mud flows to the sea that has been polluting the water and coral reefs.
Mr. Ho Duy Diem, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Association for Protecting River Valleys and Coastal Areas
After the conference, the organizers will send letters of petition to the Government Office, the Office of the National Assembly, the National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, Danang People's Committee which contain a summary of the conference as well as suggestions and opinions on the conservation of the biodiversity of Son Tra peninsula.