Vietnam tries to save rare conifers

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Dak Lak Province has established a natural reserve to save a group of conifers that are nearly extinct in the world due to overcutting.

Tran Xuan Phuoc, an official at the Lak Lake Area Forest Historical Cultural Environmental Management Agency has been appointed director of the new conservation area, VietNamNet reported.

The conservation area management agency is located in Krong Nang District's Ea Ho Commune.

The tree, thuy tung (Glyptostrobus pensilis), can grow up to 30 meters high with trunk diameter of up to one meter. Its decay-resistant, scented wood had already made it valued, but rumors that it  can treat cancer has increased demand and pushed it to the brink.

It grows in wetlands like river banks, lakes and swamps.

The new conservation area's management board is responsible for conserving the tree and its habitat, growing more trees and supporting scientific research.

Worldwide, Glyptostrobus pensilis can only be found in China, Laos and Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the plant is listed as critically endangered with only two groups left in Ea H'leo and Krong Nang districts in Dak Lak Province, with a total of less than 200 plants.

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