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UNESCO Recognizes Nui Chua, Kon Ha Nung as Vietnam's New Biosphere Reserves

They are in Ninh Thuan and Gia Lai.

VnExpress reports that UNESCO has recently designated two new global biosphere reserves in Vietnam: Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province and the Kon Ha Nung Plateau in Gia Lai Province.

They were two of 20 new reserves around the world recognized at the ongoing International Coordinating Council meeting of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Program, being held in Nigeria. This year's other areas are in Canada, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

New reserves are named each year in order to promote sustainable tourism and encourage biodiversity conservation.

Vietnam now has 11 global biosphere reserves, the second-most in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, with 19.

According to the Biodieversity Conservation Agency under the Vietnam Environment Administration, Nui Chua National Park spans about 20,000 hectares and a combination of forest, sea and semi-arid landscapes, making hit a biodiversity hotspot.

It is home to over 1,500 plant species, 330 land vertebrates, 84 mammal species, 163 bird species, and 83 amphibian and reptile species. The park also protects the endemic black-shanked douc langur, while its coastal stretches provide nesting grounds for green sea turtles, olive ridley sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles, and leatherback sea turtles.

The Kon Ha Nung Plateau, meanwhile, holds the core zones of both Kon Ka Kinh National Park and the Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve, covering 65,000 hectares and hosting hundreds of plant and animal species, including the endangered gray-shanked douc langur.

[Photo: Nui Chua National Park/via Hoileonui]