Vietnam wetland gets international status

TN News

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A southern Vietnamese national park, which is home to the endangered Sarus crane, has entered the Ramsar list as a wetland of international importance.

The official recognition for the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province will be conferred May 22 at a ceremony held there, Saigon Tiep Thi reported Monday.

It will become the country's fourth Ramsar site, a status bestowed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

The 7,300-hectare park is one of the country's major bird reserves. It comprises nearly 3,000 hectares of melaleuca and is home to 231 bird species. "Tràm" is Vietnamese for melaleuca and "chim" means bird.

Experts from the Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Program said 32 of the bird species need protecting, with 12 of them already finding a place in Vietnam's Red Book of threatened species.

The park also has more than 190 plant species, some of which provide a habitat for the food sources of the beautiful sarus crane (Grus antigone), which is facing global extinction.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (1971) is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to the sustainable use of wetlands in their territories. It was named after Ramsar, a city in Iran where the convention was established.

Vietnam signed up to it in 1989 as the 50th member and the first in Southeast Asia.

Its other Ramsar sites are the alluvial estuary at the Xuan Thuy National Park in the northern province of Nam Dinh, Ba Be Lake in Bac Kan Province also in the north, and the flooded Bau Sau area at the Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai Province near Ho Chi Minh City.

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