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Bach Ma - Vietnamese National Forest
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Bach Ma - Vietnamese National Forest

Bach Ma - Vietnamese National Forest Bach Ma National Park (BMNP) was created in 1991 with the aim to protect the unique flora and fauna of the region. Bach Ma is located in Central Vietnam, close to the coast in the province of Thua Thien Hue. The famous Hue city, the ancient royal capital of Vietnam, is located 48km northwest of Bach Ma, while Da Nang, one of the biggest cities of Vietnam, is situated about 70 km southeast of Bach Ma. The national park at the moment includes an area of about 22.000 ha. An extension area of approx. 37.000 ha will be approved by the government during the year 2007. A buffer zone surrounds the core zone of the national park like a belt and is populated with 10 communes, in which altogether around 60.000 people are living.

 

Bach Ma National Park includes various tropical and subtropical forest types, a large number of plants and animals with many endemic and rare species. It is considered as one of the centers of biodiversity in Southeast Asia, which results from a mixture of climatic, topographical and edaphic conditions. The park lies in a transition zone between North- and South-Vietnam, which supports species representative of both the Sino-Himalayan and Indo-Burmese flora as well as species representative of the Malesian flora. The topographical heterogeneity and the proximity to the sea cause important meteorological features. The region is characterized by an average annual rainfall of between 3000 and 4500mm at the coastal plain and up to 8000mm on the Bach Ma summit. The latter amount of annual precipitation ranks Bach Ma as one of the most humid places in Vietnam. Due to the effects of spraying with herbicide chemicals and bombing during the Vietnam war the original forest in parts of the national park has suffered considerably. That is the reason why besides the typical tropical forest species, nowadays a variety of plant species associated with different forest habitats can be found within the vicinity of the park.

 

 Tree ferns

Red-shanked Douc langur (Pygathrix nemaeus nemaeus), one of the rare primate species to find in Bach Ma

The Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) is one of the less known larger mammals whose classification is still unclear

 

Raising environmental awareness among the population in the buffer zone of Bach Ma National Park has become increasingly important for the national park throughout the last few years. The visitor center is comparatively well equipped with demonstration materials and interactive media. Also several “green clubs” have been established at the schools in the buffer zone which regularly carry out environmental conservation activities. Guides (of whom 2 speak English) are available for visitors upon request and can explain the special features of Bach Ma. However, to get more visitors and especially locals into the aims of nature conservation in general and of the national park in particular, numerous further measures are neccessary.

 

Because of its location between the two world heritage sites Hue and Hoi An, Bach Ma National Park has high tourism potential. The park received around 12.000 visitors in the year 2006, of which 80% are domestic visitors while 20 % are foreigners. The challenge for the national park lies in realizing well adapted ecotourism offers and furthermore in the economic participation of the local inhabitants in developing ecotourism. At the same time the various opinions about what should be considered as ecotourism are a long way apart from each other.

(Source: vietnam.ded.de)

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