Delegates at the event (Source: baodongnai.com.vn)

Dong Nai (VNA) – A workshop was held in the southern province of Dong Nai on March 16 to seek ways to reduce conflicts between elephants and people.

The event was jointly organised by the Regional Model Forest Network–Asia and the Vietnam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Freecha Onprasert, Chairman of the Secretariat of the Regional Model Forest Network–Asia, said the model forest network aims to protect and develop forests in a sustainable manner, thus reducing the conflict between human and nature.

It gathers numerous effective measures for forest management and protection, particularly in monitoring wildlife poaching and illegal forest exploitation.

The model also focuses on creating favourable ecosystems that facilitate the lives of wild animals, thus minimising similar conflicts between elephants and people in Dong Nai province.

By making locals involved in planting and managing forests, the model helps them exploit forests effectively and legally while opening up opportunities for ecotourism development.

According to Vo Van Chanh, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, over the past years, the local authorities have paid attention to forest protection and development, particularly in 1996 when it decided to close the forests.

However, the work has not been sustainable on a total forest area of 200,000 hectares in the province, he noted, adding that conflicts between people and nature, especially elephants, remained.

According to Freecha Onprasert, more than 37 nations in the world have joined his organisation. The Republic of Korea and Vietnam are developing dossiers to be admitted into the Regional Model Forest Network–Asia.-VNA