Political and economic isolation after the Vietnam War kept many of this country’s forests – those untouched by napalm – pristine. But with the economic openings of the 1990s, Vietnam quickly became a hotbed of rapid development paired with untrammeled wildlife trafficking. Achieving stronger conservation commitments in Vietnam starts with changing civil society.
Vietnam is home to eight of the ten large mammals discovered in the last two decades. Yet this biologically rich area, situated between the foothills of the Himalayas and the rainforests of the Malayan peninsula, is at high risk of vanishing completely. Little in the way of conservation planning has occurred in Vietnam as it has rushed to join the global economy. Groups working to help Vietnam embrace nature’s needs are making headway, but much work remains to be done.
Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.
Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.
Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.
Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.
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Once a center of colonial administration, lands that belonged to foreigners were recently transformed into a national park for public enjoyment.
A labyrinth of caves, many still unexplored, set this protected area apart. Wildlife here includes 26 endangered species, including the recently discovered striped hare.
Considered an ideal area for both ecotourism and scientific research, and includes two semi-autonomous communes within its boundaries.