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VietNamNews

Plan to rescue elephants

Update: June, 29/2013 - 15:59

Once, there were many elephants in the forests along the border with Laos.

Now, there are very few.

The Government has a special plan to help them to live well so that they can have many more baby elephants.

Elephants at a bathing ceremony in Buon Don District
Elephants at a bathing ceremony in Buon Don District -  File photo

 

HA NOI (VNS)—The forests along the Viet Nam-Laos border were once home to many wild elephants. But today, barely 100 remain.

A new plan recently signed by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai aims to help the decimated population recover.

Under the VND278 billion (US$13.3 million) plan, three conservation areas for wild elephants will be set up in Pu Mat, Cat Tien and Yok Don national parks and those who illegally hunt, transport or sell elephant meat or tusks will see stricter punishments.

The plan will also fund research on the animal's reproductive cycle in an attempt to increase the population.

Although exact numbers are unknown, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry estimates that between 75 and 130 elephants remain in the country, scattered in the provinces of Dong Nai, Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Nam and Thanh Hoa as well as throughout the Central Highlands.

Professor Dang Huy Huynh, chairman of the Viet Nam Zoological Society, praised the plan but emphasised the importance of involving local people.

"It is imperative to issue policies to encourage ethnic minorities, including Ede, Gia Rai and M'nong, who live in the Central Highlands region – a major home of elephants –to join hands to protect elephants," he said.

Because these people may know more about elephants than anyone does, he explained, their knowledge could help the plan succeed.

Huynh also pointed out that since elephants' habitats are about 20-30 kilometres wide, much bigger than those of other wild species, conservation areas needed to be built on a large scale with plenty of food and suitable ecosystems.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will co-operate with relevant agencies to implement the plan, which will be funded by the State budget as well as international organisations and individuals. — VNS

 

GLOSSARY

A new plan recently signed by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai aims to help the decimated population recover.

A deputy is somebody who is second-in-charge. Hoang Trung Hai, therefore, is not the prime minister but the most important person in the prime minister's office, after the prime minister.

If a population of elephants is decimated, it means that many of them have been killed.

Under the VND278 billion (US$13.3 million) plan, three conservation areas for wild elephants will be set up in Pu Mat, Cat Tien and Yok Don national parks and those who illegally hunt, transport or sell elephant meat or tusks will see stricter punishments.

Conservation areas are places that are set apart especially to allow wild animals and plants to live and grow well.

Illegally means against the law.

The plan will also fund research on the animal's reproductive cycle in an attempt to increase the population.

Research is work that is done to find out more about something.

To fund something means to pay for it.

A reproductive cycle is made up off all the events that go into producing offspring, or babies. In the case of elephants it's the mating, the pregnancy, the birth, then the life of the elephant calf as it grows into an adult and itself produces offspring.

Although exact numbers are unknown, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry estimates that between 75 and 130 elephants remain in the country, scattered in the provinces of Dong Nai, Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Nam and Thanh Hoa as well as throughout the Central Highlands.

To estimate means to guess.

Professor Dang Huy Huynh, chairman of the Viet Nam Zoological Society, praised the plan but emphasised the importance of involving local people.

To emphasise means to say something in such a way that people know you are very serious about it.

People who are local to a place come from that place; it's their home.

"It is imperative to issue policies to encourage ethnic minorities, including Ede, Gia Rai and M'nong, who live in the Central Highlands region – a major home of elephants –to join hands to protect elephants," he said.

Imperative means very important.

Policies is the plural of policy. A policy is an exact way an organisation would deal with a certain issue.

Ethnic minorities are people from communities within a nation that do not make up most of the nation. The Ede, Gia Rai and M'nong people are Vietnamese but most Vietnamese people are not Ede, Gia Rai or M'nong.

Because these people may know more about elephants than anyone does, he explained, their knowledge could help the plan succeed.

To succeed means to work well.

Huynh also pointed out that since elephants' habitats are about 20-30 kilometres wide, much bigger than those of other wild species, conservation areas needed to be built on a large scale with plenty of food and suitable ecosystems.

Different plants and animals have different habitats. These are places where they are able to live well because there is the right amount of shelter and food for them.

Ecosystems are areas where living creatures live, and live off one another. An eco-system may be small, like a pot plant, or huge like the whole world.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will co-operate with relevant agencies to implement the plan, which will be funded by the State budget as well as international organisations and individuals.

To implement a plan means to carry out a plan.

A budget is a plan on how to spend a certain amount of money over a certain time.

QUICK QUIZ

What is Hoang Trung Hai's job?

What does the chairman of the Viet Nam Zoological Society believe would be very important in the plan to save the elephants?

 

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

1.      A huge animal with long teeth called tusks.

2.      A country that shares a border with Vietnam.

3.      A thousand thousand (1 000 000)

4.      A thousand million (1 000 000 000 )

5.      The country that is home to the Ede, Gia Rai and M'nong.

 

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Quick quiz … Deputy prime minister of Vietnam; the involvement of ethnic minorities.1. elephant; 2. Laos; 3. Million; 4. Billion; 5. Vietnam;


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