The comparative analyses of selected aspects of conservation and management of Vietnam’s national parks
Le, Thanh An
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The national parks in Vietnam are protected areas in the national system of special-use forests created to protect natural resources and biodiversity. In order to improve the effectiveness of management of national parks, the study assesses some current aspects of conservation and management of natural resources with respect to management plans, financial sources, staff, cooperative activities, causes of limited management capacity and threats to natural resources. Out of the total of 30 national parks, six are under the responsibility of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) and 24 national parks are managed by provincial authorities. It was found that most of the national parks have updated their management plans. Financial sources of funding for national parks mainly originated from the central and provincial budgets, with an average of 51% and 76% respectively. Fifty percent of national parks spent 40–60% of their total funding on conservation activities. About 85% of national parks’ staff had academic degrees, typically in the fields of forestry, agriculture and fisheries. Biodiversity conservation was considered a priority cooperative action in national parks with scientific institutes. Major causes of a limited management capacity of national parks included human population growth and pressure associated with resources use, lack of funding, limited human and institutional capacity and land use conflict/land grab. Illegal hunting, trapping, poaching and fishing, the illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging and firewood collecting appeared to be the most serious threats to the conservation and management of natural resources. In addition to these results, significant differences were found between the VNFOREST and provincial parks in terms of financial sources, staff and the threat of illegal logging and firewood collecting. The authors’ findings offer useful information for national park planners and managers, as well as policy makers and researchers in seeking solutions for the sustainable management of natural resources in national parks.
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