UNESCO recognizes Gia Lai Province’s Kon Ha Nung Plateau as World Biosphere Reserve
Within the framework of cooperation between the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and the People's Committee of Gia Lai Province, the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology has collaborated with the Gia Lai Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Gia Lai Provincial People's Committee to implement the topic "Building profile of Kon Ha Nung Plateau World Biosphere Reserve" Code: UDNGDP.01/19-20. The project has completed the set objectives and was assessed as Excellent by the Acceptance Council at Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.
In parallel with the implementation of the project, the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and the Forest Protection Department, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the People's Committee of Gia Lai Province submitted to the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) an application for recognition of the Kon Ha Nung World Biosphere Reserve. This activity was reported by Nhan Dan newspaper in 2018: https://nhandan.vn/moi-truong/xay-dung-ho-so-khu-du-tru-sinh-quyen-the-gioi-kon- ha-nung-345228/. On September 15, 2021, at the 33rd session of MAB-ICC, Kon Ha Nung Plateau (name of the World Biosphere Reserve) was recognized by UNESCO as Vietnam's 11th world biosphere reserve. For more information, see: https://en.unesco.org/news/unesco-steps-efforts-biodiversity-conservation-designation-20-new-biosphere-reserves
This is the second World Biosphere Reserve in the Central Highlands recognized by UNESCO, bringing the total number of World Biosphere Reserves in Vietnam to 11. Kon Ha Nung Plateau is one of two of Vietnam’s Biosphere Reserves recognized out of a total of 20 Biosphere Reserves approved by UNESCO at this session of the ICC/MAB.
Kon Ha Nung Plateau World Biosphere Reserve has an area of nearly 413,512 hectares, including two core areas of Kon Ka Kinh National Park and Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve located in the north of Gia Lai Province, in the North Central Highlands region, Vietnam, and named after the Kon Ha Nung Plateau, the transition from the Central Highlands to the South Central Plains.
The core zone of the Biosphere Reserve is a primeval forest consisting of many mountain ranges with an average altitude of 1,200 - 1,500 m, with the Kon Ka Kinh peak of 1,748 m high. The area, with high biodiversity, represents typical tropical and subtropical forest ecosystems, with unique biological characteristics of the Central Truong Son landscape. These values are most evident in Kon Ka Kinh National Park and Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve. Along with the high biological diversity value is the combination of natural landscape and unique cultural features of the Central Highlands gong culture, which was recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Natural landscape of Kon Ha Nung Plateau Biosphere Reserve
The fact that Kon Ha Nung Plateau Biosphere Reserve was recognized as a World Biosphere Reserve further affirms the important role of the region for the Central Highlands, Vietnam in particular and the world in general. This will be an opportunity for the sustainable development of Gia Lai Province and the Central Highlands.
This precious title was obtained thanks to the great help and efforts of the people of Gia Lai, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UNESCO Vietnam Committee, experts, and the financial support of the Vietnam Academy of Sciences and Technology and People's Committee of Gia Lai Province in developing the profile, especially the efforts of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the Gia Lai Provincial Forest Protection Department and the Committee of the National Board of Man and Biosphere (MAB) Vietnam.
Workshop on building profile of Kon Ha Nung Plateau Biosphere Reserve
Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version