Fall 2000

The Conservation Education Network

Vietnam is faced with many difficulties in the conservation and management of its nation-wide system of protected areas. It is estimated that natural forest cover in Vietnam declined from 43 percent of the land area in 1943 to 26 percent in 1993, due to agricultural expansion, logging and the effects of war. Vietnam also faces a variety of environmental problems in sea and coastal areas, including industrial and agricultural pollution, environmental deterioration and the exhaustion of sea products from over-fishing. The number and distribution of threatened and endangered endemic mammals, birds and ecosystems in Vietnam make it one of Asia's top priority areas for conservation action. Roughly 720 species of flora and fauna have been listed as endangered in the official Vietnam Red Book. Not only has accelerated deforestation and habitat loss led to the rapid depletion of rare and endangered animals, but also illegal poaching of protected wildlife is on a dramatic rise. (See "Turtles in Trouble" in this issue.) A recent international conference named Vietnam as one of ten countries suffering from a "remarkable biodiversity reduction."

Although the need is great, little has been done to alleviate the pressures on these precious resources. Experience at Cuc Phuong National Park and elsewhere, however, has shown the significance of educational programs in enhancing conservation. Current environmental education efforts, whether undertaken by the Government of Viet Nam, or international and domestic non-governmental organizations, stand to benefit from sharing information, materials and experiences.

With financial support from the Small Grants Program of The World Bank, and a generous contribution from Fauna and Flora International, a Conservation Education Seminar was co-organized by the Center for Environment, Tourism and Development in Viet Nam and the Viet Nam Network for Environmental Education and Training on 21-22 June 2000 at the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute, Ha Noi. At this event, a Conservation Education Network (CEN) was established.

Proposed CEN activities for the period 2000-2005 include:

1. Publish CEN bilingual (Vietnamese and English) quarterly newsletters;

2. Found an email discussion list;

3. Find funds and coordinate with national and international organizations to organize at least one seminar each year on conservation education in a National Park or other Protected Area; develop materials on conservation education; and to organize professional training courses for CEN members;

4. Support study tours to national parks and protected areas by consulting organizers on study tour content.

The CEN Newsletter is available in electronic format by contacting the network or one of its administrators. Interested persons are also invited to join the email discussion list; please contact the network or its administrators.

— Joe Peters


Conservation Education Network (CEN),
114 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam, Tel/Fax: 7560233
Email: cen-cetd@hn.vnn.vn

Le Van Lanh,
1025 De Lan Thanh,
Ngoc Khanh, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Viet nam
Tel: 8345 899 Fax: 8317419
Email: lanh_cetd@netnam.org.vn

Joe Peters,
So 14, B 25 Nam Thanh Cong,
Dong Da, Ha Noi, Vietnam,
Tel/Fax: 8355 494
Email: dpeters@fpt.vn


Also in this edition >>>   Turtles in Trouble >> The Conservation Education Network >>
Viet Nam: Filling in the Gaps >> Of Gastropods and Bivalves >>
Interpreting Biodiversity in Viet Nam >> The Beauty of Leeches >>
Leech Prospecting in the Bolivian Andes >>


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