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Southern national park recognized as world’s new Ramsar site

Sunday, April 14, 2013, 15:10 GMT+7

Mui Ca Mau (Ca Mau Cape) National Park in Vietnam’s southernmost province of Ca Mau has been officially recognized as a new Ramsar site of the world and the fifth in Vietnam.

The site, the 2,088th world Ramsar site, is also one among three main areas of the UNESCO-recognized Ca Mau Cape Biosphere Reserve.

The 42,000-hectare site, lying within three communes of Dat Mui, Vien An and Dat Moi in Ngoc Hien District, is home to 93 species of birds, 26 species of mammals, 43 species of reptiles, nine species of amphibians, 233 fish species.

The area, encompassing over 15,260 hectares of land and 26,600 hectares of coastal areas in low-lying saline land, is also home to many rare species such as gray-foot pelicans, otters, and black-back box turtles.

Ca Mau Cape National Park will try to better preserve the Ramsar site in combination with community development, said Tran Quoc Tuan,  director of Ca Mau Cape National Park at the recent ceremony held to announce the recognition.

“The government should continue to put forth policies to improve their living standards of local people, as well as apply measures to limit migration that can harm the park’s natural resources,” he told local reporters.

The municipal People’s Committee and competent agencies should also consider investing in infrastructure, scientific research and eco-tourism development in the park to create favorable conditions to preserve its biodiversity, he added.

In early December last year, Le Dung, vice chairman of Ca Mau Province People's Committee, said the World Environment Organization will announce the official recognition of the park on December 13.

“This is a great opportunity for us to channel more investments to promote eco-tourism potentials of our province,” he added.

With this new recognition, Vietnam has a total of five Ramsar sites.

The northern region-based Ramsar sites are Xuan Thuy Natural Wetland Reserve in Nam Dinh Province and the site in the Ba Be Lake in the mountainous province of Bac Kan which were recognized in 1988 and 2011, respectively.

The southern region-based ones are Bau Sau (Crocodile Lake) Wetlands and Seasonal Floodplains in Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai Province and Tram Chim National Park in southern province of Dong Thap which were recognized in 2005 and 2012, respectively.

Tram Chim National Park in late February this year was recognized by Ramsar Convention as the 2000th Ramsar site of Wetlands of International Importance in the world. Tram Chim covers an area of 7,588 hectares, which is home to 130 species of plant, 100 species of vertebrate animals, 40 species of fish, and 147 types of water birds – of which 13 are listed as endangered.

The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, and has continued to provide a national framework for wetland preservation ever since.

The convention embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the "wise use", or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories.

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