Nature creates amazing things. Take, for example the spring named “Suoi Nuoc Mooc” in the world heritage site of Phong Nha-Ke Bang, where columns of water rise up wonderfully, seeming to defy gravity before making their way to the nearby Chay River.
These days, this long-hidden charm of “Suoi Nuoc Mooc” spring has gained wider public exposure, thanks to the creation of an ecological trail leading to it, established thanks to funding from Germany agencies, including DED, BMZ, GTZ, KfW, and the support of local residents.
|The main entrance to Phong Nha Cave (Photo: SGGP)|
The creation of the trail was part of a project called “Nature conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang region”, which aims to encourage local residents to become involved in efforts to improve their living standards, while still protecting local natural resources.
To that goal, residents living in areas surrounding Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, who used to rely on illegal logging in the region, have been provided with soft loans and provided with the necessary skills to arrange and run tourist services.
Launched earlier this year, the project is being carried out in 146 hamlets and villages in the region, bringing practical benefits to almost 60,000 locals.
The project, with a budget of just less than 17.6 million EUR is expected to have the finances to run until 2015.
Developers of the “Suoi Nuoc Mooc” spring trail also have high hopes of satisfying those who wish to explore the diverse Phong Nha-Ke Bang ecosystem, which is named as one of the world’s top 200 biodiversity centers and boasts two bird sanctuaries.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park boasts more than 2,600 species of flora, 735 vertebrate species, and 369 insect species, of which 116 floral species and 129 animal species are listed in the Vietnam and world red books of endangered species, as well as 28 floral and faunal species that are threatened with extinction globally.
During a recent field-trip to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Birgit Wendling, counselor in charge of cooperation and development for the German Embassy in Hanoi, said her country has granted more than 1 billion EUR since 1999 to assist Vietnam in the fields of education, management of natural resources, environmental protection and health care.
She revealed that the total budget for Vietnam this year is 117 million EUR.