UNESCO names Vietnam's Mount Lang Biang a world biosphere reserve

By Lam Vien, Thanh Nien News

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Lang Biang Mountain, a popular tourist area some 12 kilometers from the Central Highlands resort town of Da Lat, has become the ninth world biosphere to be recognized by UNESCO in Vietnam.
The recognition was announced at the 27th session of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program's International Coordinating Council in France early this week, Doan Van Viet, chairman of Lam Dong Province, told the press on Wednesday.
Besides Lang Biang, 19 other sites around the world have also been added to the global network of biosphere reserves.
Located in the north of Lam Dong, Lang Biang is one of Vietnam's four centers of biodiversity.
It covers a total area of 275,439 hectares, including a primeval forest and the Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park, said Ton That Minh, director of the park's Tropical Forest Research Center.
It has 154 species of animals and plants on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's red list, he said.
With a peak at the height 2,287 meters, Lang Biang is often dubbed Da Lat's roof. 
In a comment on the recognition, Viet said it was "a big honor" for Vietnam and Lam Dong Province.
The province's authorities will boost the area's promotion among tourists, while continuing to preserve its cultural and biological values, as well as improve local people's living, the official said.
Other UNESCO world biospheres in Vietnam include Can Gio Mangrove, some 50 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, the Cat Ba Islands in the northern city of Hai Phong, and the Cu Lao Cham Marine Park off the coast of Hoi An Ancient Town.

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