Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Denmark funds $4 mln central marine preservation

Denmark funds $4 mln central marine preservation

The Danish government will continue its funding of the Cu Lao Cham marine
reserve in the central Quang Nam province this year, to the tune of US$4

The Denmark-funded marine park kicked off in the province in 2003 targeting
to protect valuable habitats and biodiversity in Cu Lao Cham Island without
compromising the livehood requirements of poor communities.

The project has helped local residents find alternative ways to earn a
living besides fishing, which threatens to destroy the marine environment.

The new fund will focus on free training courses on handy-crafts and
campaigns to raise further awareness on marine protection among the

The marine park is the second marine reserve under the Vietnam's project to
develop a network of 15 marine parks nationwide.

Danida and the Vietnamese Fisheries Ministry have also identified five
priority preservation areas, including Phu Quoc, Con Co, Bach Long Vi, Co To
and Con Dao islands.

Cu Lao Cham marine reserve includes eight islands and 5,175 hectares of
water surface. The marine park boasts 165 coral reefs, around 500 hectares
of seaweed and seagrass, and various sea creatures.

Scientists have recently found 135 coral species, including the six species
discovered in Vietnam's waters for the first time, 202 fish species, four
species of lobster, and 84 reptile species on Cu Lao Cham.

The country's first sea park under the project is the Hon Mun marine
reserve, which was set up in 2000 in Khanh Hoa province with funding and
assistance from Danish International Development Agency (Danida), the World
Bank, and the World Conservation Union.

The park covers 12,100 hectares of sea and several islands, and is home to
173 coral species and 176 fish species.

Vietnam's marine preservation network has played a key role in ensuring
marine ecological balance protecting biodiversity, and creating a harmonious
environment conducive to sustainable economic development.

However, the past years have witnessed a decline in marine wildlife and a
degradation of the ocean environment as a result of overexploitation.

Reported by Hua Xuyen Huynh - Compiled by Ha Dong

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