VietNamNet Bridge The southern province of Ca Mau has approved a VND144 billion or $9 million project to prevent forest fires and preserve natural landscapes and the ecological environment of the U Minh Ha (lower U Minh) national nature reserve.
The project will also recreate genetic sources of rare floral and fauna species in the reserve and develop ecological tourism there.
Under this huge project, inner roads, fire sentry boxes will be built while canals will be dredged and anti-fire equipment will be purchased from now to 2011.
The project will be carried out on nearly 8,530ha, including 2,593ha of strictly protected area, 4,408ha of ecological rehabilitation area and over 750ha of administrative and service area.
The U Minh Ha nature reserve comprises peat swamp forests in Kien Giang and Ca Mau provinces, a rare example of this ecosystem in Vietnam. The three major vegetation types at the nature reserve are semi-natural (originally planted but no longer tended) Melaleuca forest, Melaleuca plantation and seasonally inundated grassland. It supports a rich diversity of bird species. In particular, the area supports an abundance and diversity of waterbirds, including small bitterns, the Bronze-winged Jacana (Metopidius indicus) and Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio).