WWF and MARD join forces for forests

Posted on September, 12 2023

Investing in Nature-Based Solutions to Protect Viet Nam’s Central Annamites
Ha Noi, 11 September, 2023, World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (WWF) and Viet Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) today announced a collaboration to support new investments in nature-based solutions (NbS) to address climate change, protect and restore biodiversity, and deliver benefits to local communities in the Central Annamites of Viet Nam, one of the largest contiguous primary forests in continental Asia. 

The initiative is part of WWF’s new Nature-Based Solutions Origination Platform (NbS-OP), an innovative vehicle for high-quality and high-integrity NbS that will drive impact at scale for people, climate and nature across tropical forest landscapes. Key NbS-OP partners around the globe include U.S. companies HP Inc., Apple and International Paper. In Viet Nam, this collaboration builds on WWF's work as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s implementing partner in large-scale biodiversity conservation in the Central Annamites and will include a variety of conservation approaches, such as protection, restoration, and improved forest management. 
“We greatly appreciate WWF’s long-time contributions to and continued support of Viet Nam’s critical forest landscapes,” said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan of Viet Nam. “In the years to come, we look forward to working with WWF to protect our treasured Central Annamites while developing lasting, quality nature-based solutions to benefit people, nature and the climate in Viet Nam and beyond.”
The Central Annamites landscape, a natural carbon sink, is renowned for its unique biodiversity. Forest coverage ranges between 47% to 68%, with more than 2.3 million hectares of natural forest. As a result, the area is home to many endemic and endangered species, including the Saola, Large-antlered muntjac, the Truong Son muntjac, and more. Roughly 18.5 million people live in the Central of Viet Nam and depend on the natural resources there in one way or another. 
Unfortunately, this vital landscape is losing its biodiversity, facing “empty-forest syndrome” due to its degraded and fragmented habitats. Climate change and the impact of human activities are the most significant threats to the ecosystem. These activities include illegal hunting and logging, forest conversion, and encroachment for livelihoods. Infrastructure and economic development are further exacerbating habitat fragmentation and worsening the impacts of climate change. 
Many years ago, WWF developed restoration programs to address these issues, creating green corridors to connect fragmented forests and advocating for and supporting the establishment of the Saola Nature Reserves in Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam. New technology, such as SMART, e-DNA analysis, and GIS was introduced to monitor and manage wildlife in the region’s protected areas. Recently, WWF and its partners supported the launch of a rewilding program in Bach Ma NPs. In addition, WWF is working directly with local communities and companies to improve livelihoods and deliver large-scale conservation results. 
Said Van Ngoc Thinh, CEO of WWF-Viet Nam, “Conservation is a long-term endeavour that can take upwards of 20 to 30 years to yield results. That’s why long-term funding is essential. The NbS-OP aims to provide just that by aligning, and mobilising public and private investments in high-quality NbS under an integrated landscape finance approach.”
A pangolin, rescued from illegal trafficking, was released back to a forest of the Central of Viet Nam
© WWF-Viet Nam