Eighty domestic and foreign experts gathered at an international workshop in northern Ninh Binh province on October 9 to discuss how to protect rare and precious primate species in Vietnam.

Jointly organised by the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre (EPRC), the Cuc Phuong National Park and the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the event aimed to assess the direct threats against rare primate species in the region, thus finding solutions to preserve the species in the coming time.

According to Director of the Nature Preservation Department under the General Department of Forestry Tran The Lien, biodiversity in Vietnam faces great threats due to climate change and human activities.

He cited statistics of the World Nature Preservation Organisation (IUCN) that seven primate species in Vietnam are critically threatened, nine are threatened and seven others are near threatened, which means that 90 percent of Vietnam’s primate species are facing the threat of extinction.

Lien stressed the need for a regional strategy with practical measures to promote management and preservation of primates.

Truong Quang Bich, Director of the Cuc Phuong National Park said the park has been carrying out a project to preserve rare primates, under which the EPRC was established in 2003 and is now home to 150 individuals of 15 rare primate species and subspecies. Nine primate species have reproduced at the centre, of which three species are the first to reproduce in captivity in the world. The centre’s operation has contributed greatly to raising awareness of local people and visitors of the significance of preserving primate in general and Vietnam’s endemic gibbons in particular.

Christian Roos, vice president of the IUCN’s specialised group on primate, spoke highly of the role played by the EPRC and Tilo Nadler, who is co-director of the primate preservation project at Cuc Phuong Part in rescuing, preserving primates and helping them re-assimilate into their natural habitat.

He called for joint efforts and closer cooperation between regional countries’ governments to counter the threats to primate species before it is too late.-VNA