A workshop underscoring the necessity of protecting the Central Highlands’ dipterocarp forest ecosystems was held in Buon Ma Thuot city of the central province of Dak Lak on October 10.

Participants heard that this kind of forest is mainly located in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. The country boasts some 500,000 ha of dry dipterocarp forests, concentrating in lowland parts of the Central Highlands, according to the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences.

These forests play an important socio-economic role as they supply a large amount of high value timber and non-timber products to local people and the country.

However, the forests are being threatened by overharvesting, resulting in loss of area and biodiversity, and vanishing species including the Tapirus indicus (Asian tapir) and Bos sauveli (grey ox).

In response, local authorities and relevant agencies should apply synchronous measures to save the forests.

In addition to integrating the protection of dipterocarp forest ecosystems into the national biodiversity conservation plan and the local socio-economic development plans, Dak Lak province appeals for a document issued by the State on preserving this kind of forest.

It is necessary to build some animal rescue stations in the central provinces of Dak Lak and Gia Lai, home to vast expanses of dipterocarp forest, as well as plant nurseries in order to propagate rare indigenous flora species.-VNA