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UNESCO names new world biosphere reserve in Vietnam

The sea waters and coastline of Kien Giang province in southwestern Vietnam have been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a world biosphere reserve.

The Kien Giang Biosphere Reserve covers an area of more than 1.1 million hectares, consisting of three core areas – the U Minh Thuong National Park, the Phu Quoc National Park, and a mangrove forest area named Kien Luong-Kien Hai.

It boasts many endangered plants and animals including seagrass, coral reefs, dugongs, and sea turtles.

The UN agency’s website does not, however, say yet what specific aspect of the area’s marine ecology led to this recognition.

The announcement was made at the 19th session of the International Coordinators' Council of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program (MAB), held on October 23-27 in Paris, France.

At the session, Vietnam was elected the MAB Intnernational Coordinators' Council vice president representing Asia-Pacific.

Sweden was elected president while Russia, Chile, Ethiopia and Sudang were elected vice presidents representing their regions.

According to UNESCO, biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.

Vietnam now boasts five world biosphere reserves, the others being the Can Gio wetland and the Cat Tien tropical forest eco-system, both in the south, and the Cat Ba National Park and Red River Delta in the north.

Source: VNA

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