Continued efforts to protect Kon Ha Nung Biosphere Reserve

Kon Ha Nung Plateau in the Central Highlands’ province of Gia Lai is home to one of two biosphere reserves in Vietnam to have secured official recognition from the UNESCO. This is a source of pride for the locality in particular and Vietnam in general. Inside the Kon Ha Nung Biosphere Reserve, rangers work hard to protect its rich resources.

Kon Ha Nung Plateau covers more than 413,500 hectares. Its core zone is the Kon Ka Kinh National Park and the Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve. The reserve has about 15,900 hectares of special-use forests and a transitional ecosystem between the east and west of the Truong Son Mountain Range. It is home to rare, rich, and diverse flora and fauna.

The Kon Ka Kinh National Park spans more than 40,000 hectares and borders Kon Tum province and three districts in Gia Lai. A lack of human resources has presented difficulties for forest protection forces when conducting patrols.

Kon Ha Nung is home to many rare species, such as the grey-shanked douc (Pygathrix cinerea) - a rare and endemic primate classified as critically-endangered, with only about 1,000 individuals in the wild.

UNESCO recognition affirms the efforts of Vietnam and Gia Lai province in particular in protecting biodiversity and ecosystems and promoting sustainable development. It also helps boost eco-tourism and community livelihoods as well as attract international scientific research.

The title “Biosphere Reserve” is bestowed by UNESCO upon nature reserves boasting unique and diverse flora and fauna. Biosphere reserves must meet seven criteria, including having ecosystems representing biogeographic regions, significance for biodiversity conservation, opportunities for sustainable development, and a sufficiently-large area. They are also required to fulfil three functions prescribed by UNESCO: conservation, sustainable development, and logistics support./.