Expert urges to make greater efforts to preserve biological resources

Published: 18/05/2011 05:00



Vietnam  possesses a biological resource with high level of diversification, but it is prone to degradation. Rhinos, and then elephants may become extinct if they cannot be well protected, said Dr Le Xuan Canh, from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (Institute of Science and Technology of Vietnam).

Dr Le Xuan Canh is the head of the team which implements the state-level research work on Vietnam’s zoology and botany, the work carried out by domestic scientists for the first time. He and fellow workers have completed 36 valuable books, including 11 books about botany and 25 about zoology – the result of 50 years of work. The work has been nominated for the Ho Chi Minh Award.

What are your comments about the biological resource preservation in Vietnam?

To date, we have been able to research and describe some 12,000 plant species, while there are about 20,000 species existing.

While we have been good at species preservation with many achievements and obtained and experiences learned, we still have got initial results at a certain level in the gene preservation. We still cannot keep up with the world and cannot meet fulfill the targets due to many difficulties in the labor force and equipments.

The Biological Diversification Law has taken effects since July 1, 2010, but we have been slow in the implementation of the law. Two years after the day, we have only promulgated a decree that guides the implementation of the law, while other legal documents are still under compilation.

Could you please tell us about the scientific significance of the recent discoveries?

In the 20th century, 16 big animal species were discovered, and eight of which were discovered in Vietnam. In the years from 1992 to 2000, Vietnam continuously discovered new species. A lot of new species have also been discovered recently. Amphibians alone have over 40 species. The species do not have economic value, but they have high scientific value.

The Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources chairs the writing of the red book. Which “red alarms” can you ring?

The red book about the valuable and rare species in Vietnam has been updated every two years. Vietnam possesses a biological resource with high level of diversification, but it is at a high risk because of many reasons, including the wars, bombs, toxic chemical, increasing population, environmental conditions, changeable climate and weather, and the trade of rare and valuable animals.

What should we do to preserve rare and valuable animals?

We have many big animals such as elephant, tiger, rhinos and bull. The minimum requirement for the big animals is if the living areas large enough for them to live and multiply. Meanwhile, the living environment for elephants, for example, has been narrowed, which has forced them to attack people. We are afraid that rhinos, elephants and tigers may get extinct in Vietnam.

As you may know, a lot of households have been breeding rare and valuable animals for commercial purposes (tourism, export…). What is your viewpoint about that?

Every species needs a specific breeding procedure. My viewpoint is that even when breeding animal for the preservation purpose, the State should also consider and keep control over the breeding process.

Not only rare and valuable animals are on the danger, but domestic animals have also been threatened. Therefore, we need to build up a national program to preserve animals.

However, it is too costly to preserve the biological resources…

The current spending just meets about 10 percent of the demand. You see, only 50,000 dong is paid to protect a hectare of forest. At my institute, 100 researchers and workers get 10 billion dong in wages a year.

Source: SGTT

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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