Ninh Bình’s Hoa Lư District is home to some truly breathtaking landscapes. VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức
Ninh Bình is blessed by nature with a wide range of beautiful natural landscapes and ecosystems. The province’s forest area exceeds 29,000 hectares, making it the region’s largest, exceeding the forests in neighbouring provinces in the Red River Delta.
Over the years, Ninh Bình has aggressively implemented measures to conserve biodiversity and sustainably develop the value that natural ecosystems offer.
Vân Long Wetland Nature Reserve, Ninh Bình’s Gia Viễn District, is a complete residual wetland in the Red River Delta region, comprised of rivers, shallow lakes, and vegetation with distinct ecological characteristics, resulting in a distinctive natural landscape.
Vân Long also has high biodiversity value, including two ecosystems, the wetland environment and the limestone ecosystem.
Vân Long lagoon in Gia Viễn District, Ninh Bình Province, is the largest wetland nature reserve in the Red River Delta. VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức
More than 720 species of plants from 277 families and six phyla of higher vascular plants can be found in the area, with many included in the Việt Nam’s Red Data Book.
The range of animals is also incredible. There are 39 species of mammals, 100 bird species, 38 reptile and amphibian species, 43 fish species, 132 insect species, 48 terrestrial mollusc species, and 60 aquatic mollusc species all recorded here.
Vân Long lagoon is a habitat for several uncommon bird species. VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức
Notably, Vân Long Wetland Nature Reserve homes the greatest number of langurs in Việt Nam that could be witnessed in the wild.
The location holds two Vietnamese records: “The conservation area with the biggest langur population in Việt Nam” and “The region with the largest natural scene in Việt Nam”.
Bùi Công Chính, head of the Hoa Lư-Gia Viễn Inter-district Forest Protection Department, stated that sustainable forest management is crucial for identifying basic measures in sustainable forest resource management, attracting investment in developing eco-tourism, creating jobs for locals, and improving the lives of people in the region.
The department has organized patrols to protect forests, and teams to prevent and control forest fires over the years to conserve biodiversity and forest resources. Patrol routes have been built, particularly in key zones and locations with rare and precious species of flora and fauna, to prevent illegal exploitation, trading, transportation, storage, and processing of forest products.
The department also arranged for staff to visit, gain practical experience in law enforcement, and increase their knowledge of the environment, land management, and use of sustainable resources.
They have worked with related agencies to finish the reserve’s biodiversity project and unified management of the entire forest land and wetland area. In addition, they have also worked out plans for sustainable management of special-use forests and a management programme for tourism industry in reserve to protect its integrity.
The Tràng An landscape complex is located in the area of Hoa Lư special-use forest, with a high level of biodiversity and two major ecosystem types: a limestone and an aquatic ecosystem.
Biodiversity in Tràng An is evident in the diversity of species composition and genetic resources and the presence of numerous endemic and uncommon animal and plant species.
There are currently 134 plant families, 384 genera, and 577 species described in the flora of Tràng An. In particular, there are 10 species listed in Việt Nam’s Red Data Book that need to be conserved and seven species that have never been seen before in the country’s flora.
Tràng An complex’s fauna is also exceptionally diverse, with 30 species of zooplankton and 40 species of benthic creatures living in the marsh. The striped-necked turtle, which can only be found in Tràng An, is an endangered species that must be protected.
Notably, after being relocated by Cúc Phương National Park and the Việt Nam Wildlife Conservation Centre to the Ngọc Island region of Tràng An complex for more than a year, a langur family has produced its first offspring.
In the near future, the Management Board of the Tràng An Landscape Complex intends to breed several endemic and rare species for raising, additional planting, reducing the risk of extinction, and locate suitable sites to establish an artificial habitat and preserve some of these species for biodiversity in the near future.
The Cúc Phương Endangered Primate Rescue Centre is a temporary shelter for langurs before returning to the wild. VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức
In 2004, UNESCO identified seven coastal communes within the administrative boundaries of Kim Sơn District in Ninh Bình, in the buffer and transition zones of the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve.
These locations are currently sustaining great biodiversity values with rare species of worldwide significance and many rare species documented in the Red Book of Việt Nam and the world.
For a green Ninh Bình
Ninh Bình has been working for years to find a sustainable approach to developing tourism while still protecting the province’s ecology.
The province has swiftly released documents that clarify regulations and legislation relating to biodiversity, tourism development, and environmental preservation in tandem with planning efforts.
Additionally, the province has taken steps to ensure the long-term viability of its natural resources and created methods to distribute the benefits of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Following its rescue by forest rangers, a masked palm civet is released in Cúc Phương National Park. VNA/VNS Photo Đức Phương
Furthermore, local authorities also provide financial assistance from the state budget to encourage the creation of buffer zones to safeguard local residents’ well-being and prevent logging and wild animal hunting by those who live in or near the forest.
Nguyễn Văn Dương, head of the Provincial Department of Forest Protection, stated that the department frequently mobilises personnel for forest management and protection, fire prevention and control, as well as biodiversity protection.
According to the law, they have also increased coordination in patrolling and managing violations of forest land encroachment, illegal trading of forest products, and wildlife trafficking.
In the future, the forest protection authority will strengthen coordination in inspecting, patrolling, and protecting forests, particularly in special-use forests and protection forests.
The department will also coordinate regulations between ranger forces and bordering areas in preventing and handling violations; mobilise people to actively plant trees and engage in forest protection and development; prevent illegal trade or consumption of forest animals or plants; and protect biodiversity. VNS