Vietnam designates a national park
Viet Nam designates Ba Be National Park as its 3rd Wetland of International Importance
Located in the Bac Kan Province, Ba Be (10,048 ha; 22°24′N 105°36′E) is a National Park and an ASEAN Heritage Park. The Man and Biosphere Committee of Viet Nam is currently supporting the designation of Ba Be as a Biosphere Reserve. As summarised by Marian Gwilliam, Regional Assistant Advisor for Asia-Oceania, Ba Be National Park supports the only significant natural mountain lake in Viet Nam and is the most important wetland in the country’s protected area system because it is the only site that has a natural lake surrounded by a mountainous karst ecosystem.
|Ba Be Lake|
It supports a number of globally threatened species such as the endangered Francois' Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi), the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum), and is home to endemic species such as the Vietnamese Salamander (Paramesotriton deloustali). The site is recognised as an Important Bird Area, supporting more than 1% threshold population of the endangered White-eared Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus), a species which also has a very restricted habitat range. Ba Be Lake is important for regulating water supply; it provides water for irrigation in the dry season and helps to mitigate floods from four rivers during the wet season.
Archaeological evidence from mountain caves indicates that Ba Be was inhabited from the late Pleistocene some 20,000 years ago, up to the Le-Mac dynasties in the 16th century. Threats to the site include infrastructure development, hunting of birds, fuel and solid waste pollution, and clearance of forest for agriculture. The Provincial People’s Committee of Bac Kan Province is responsible for the management of this site. BirdLife International – Viet Nam Programme provided valuable assistance in the listing of this site.