Pu Mat National Park is preparing to submit its application to be recognised as a UNESCO world biosphere reserve in 2006, said Nguyen Thanh Nhan, the park’s director.
Pu Mat would be the fifth United Nations’ Education, Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) biosphere reserve in Viet Nam.
The park includes the Anh Son, Con Cuong and Tuong Duong districts, situated in the central mountains of Nghe An Province. The elevation at the park ranges between 100 and 1,841m, although 90 per cent of the park is under 1,000m in elevation.
To date, 2,469 plant and 938 animal species have been discovered at Pu Mat. The most widespread type of vegetation in the park is lowland evergreen forest.
Pu Mat is one of the most important sites for mammal conservation in Viet Nam due to the presence of three mammal species endemic to Indochina such as Saola (pseudoryx nghetinhensis), Annamitic Stripped Rabbit (nesolagus) and White/Buff-cheeked Gibbon (hylobates leucogenys/gabriellae), according to a survey by the Social Forestry and Nature Conservation (SFNC) in Nghe An Province funded by the European Commission.
The SFNC survey confirmed the continued occurrence of a number of endangered mammals at Pu Mat such as the Asian elephant (elephas maximus), Owston’s Banded Civet (hemigalus owstoni), Giant muntjac (megamuntiacus vuquangensis) and Truong Son muntjac (muntiacus truongsonensis).
Additionally, a total of 295 bird species have been found at the park, including 22 endangered and nearly extinct species.
Besides its biological value, Pu Mat also includes tourist destinations such as Thac Khe Kem (Khe Kem Waterfall) and Suoi Moc (Moc Stream), both popular with visitors because of their mild climates.
The other UNESCO biospeheres in Viet Nam are Cat Tien National Park in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), Cat Ba Archipelago in the northern city of Hai Phong, the Hong (Red) River Delta and Can Gio Mangrove Forest in HCM City.
Vietnamnews - (12/09/2005)