Developing a Community Project to Restore and Conserve Dipterocarpaceae in Thanh Son District, Phu Tho Province
Thach Kiet, Tan Phu and Son Hung Commune, Thanh Son District, Phu Tho Province
3 years (started May 2002)
Farmers' Association of Thanh Son District
The Parashorea chinensis Wang Hsie tree belongs to the plant family of Dipterocarpaceae, which is a typical plant family of tropical forest in South-East Asia. It is listed in the Plant Red Book (1996) as a threatened species which requires immediate protection measures. Parashorea chinensis is distributed in dense evergreen tropical forest with other species, such as Aglaia gigantea, Dracontomelum duperreanum, Toona surenni. Parashorea chinensis trees generally occupy the highest storey of natural forest. Due to wars and over exploitation of forest resources, Dipterocarp forests were reduced considerably in both area and quality. The area of Dipterocarp forests in the south-eastern region of Viet Nam in 1959 and in 1992 was 1,146,275ha and 183,081ha respectively. Current major threats to this species include its scattered distribution. Very small numbers of individuals and mother trees remain in the natural forests, which need to be strictly protected. For long-term protection of this species, Parashorea chinensis should be introduced into large-scale forest plantation programmes.
The project is being carried out in three communes in Thanh Son District, Phu Tho province, one of the northern mountainous provinces where the Dipterocarp forests and Parashorea chinensis used to be the major type of forest ecosystem. It aims to develop a model of in situ conservation of this species through appropriate sivilculture techniques to promote natural forest regeneration. Seed collection, sowing and planting trials of Parashorea chinensis are being tested. One of the main objectives of the project is to develop mixed forests of Parashorea chinensis and other forestry species of high economic value so the community can increase their income from their forestry activities, contributing to poverty alleviation in the area.