The northern mountainous province of Son La has approved a plan on biodiversity protection between 2014 and 2020 in an effort to protect the eco-environment, cope with climate change and ensure security and defence.

Under the plan, the province will protect four existing nature reserves namely the 6,311ha Copia in Thuan Chau district, the 18,020ha Sop Cop Forest in Sop Cop and Song Ma districts, the 16,553ha Ta Xua Forest in Bac Yen district, and the 18,116ha Xuan Nha Forest in Van Ho district.

It will also build a new reserve on an area of 20,000ha in Muong La district and a 247ha culture-tourism-environment preservation zone in Phu Yen district.

The Muong La forest boasts its high biodiversity with many endangered species, notably black gibbons that are now only found in Vietnam and China, Phayre’s langur, rufous-necked hornbill and Asian golden cat. They are under threat mainly due to increasing deforestation and illegal hunting.

Son La is now home to nearly 634,000 of forest, including 610,000ha of natural forest. The province expects to increase its forest coverage to 55 percent (779,600ha) by 2020.-VNA