HCMC eyes Ramsar site designation for Can Gio wetland

By Le Tuyet   August 21, 2023 | 09:06 pm PT
HCMC eyes Ramsar site designation for Can Gio wetland
Part of the mangrove forest in Can Gio District, HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The protective forest in HCMC's outlying Can Gio District meets the requirements to be designated a Ramsar site and should be nominated for it, the city government has said.

In a recent communication to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, it said the Can Gio forest, 35 ha of which comprises mangroves, meets four of the nine criteria to become a Ramsar site.

"It is a representative, rare or unique example of a natural or near-natural wetland type found in the appropriate biogeographic region, supports vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered species or threatened ecological communities, regularly supports 20,000 or more waterbirds, and is an important source of food for fish and spawning ground, nursery and/or migration path on which fish stocks, either within the wetland or elsewhere, depend."

A Ramsar site refers to a site designated to be of international importance under "The Convention on Wetlands."

The convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for the conservation and optimal use of wetlands and their resources.

It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar and came into force in 1975.

Since then almost 90% of UN member states from every region have become "Contracting Parties," according to its official website.

A wetland is considered internationally important even if it meets just one of the nine criteria.

Situated 40 kilometers from HCMC, the Can Gio mangrove forest was formed by alluvial deposits from the estuaries of the Saigon – Dong Nai River system, and is considered the city’s "green lung."

In 2000 a 75,000 ha portion of the forest, which has populations of terrestrial and aquatic animals and plants, was recognized by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve.

The reserve is connected to the rest of HCMC only by ferry though a major bridge has been approved for construction.

It has 20,000 ha of mangroves and provides a habitat for over 1,500 wild monkeys.

According to the city government, the Ramsar designation will bring prestige to the city and widen domestic and international cooperation for wetland management.

Vietnam has nine Ramsar sites.

The government's action plan for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands in 2021-30 targets having 13 by 2025.

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