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Groups agree to protect primates

Update: August, 20/2015 - 09:49

DA NANG (VNS) — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Forestry Administration and the German Primate Centre (DPZ) has agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect highly endangered primates in Viet Nam.

The DPZ office said the MoU will enhance the protection of primates in Viet Nam by expediting research on the most endangered species and further developing scientific and environmental protection concepts.

Through the reduction of bureaucratic hurdles, the agreement will support joint projects and needed workshops for researchers and students. Projects also include training staff at national parks and creating websites and events to raise public awareness.

"With the agreement that was signed today, we have provided a strong basis for collaboration in research and conservation in Viet Nam," said Michael Lankeit, administrative director at the DPZ.

"It is essential to have the support and cooperation of local authorities, especially when it concerns research permits in national parks or for the export of sample materials," Lankeit explained.

Deputy General Director of Vietnamese Administration of the Forestry Administration, Cao Chi Cong, stressed that genetic analyses of hair and fecal samples of monkeys by the DPZ is an important contribution to efforts to curb poaching.

Elegant gibbons and many other primates indigenous to Viet Nam are highly endangered including the approximate 65 Cat Ba Langurs left, critically endangered Delacour's Langur and the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey.

The DPZ's Christian Roos has been involved in research projects in Viet Nam for the past 20 years, and said he uses novel genetic methods to examine the evolutionary relationships between the monkeys. Every now and then, he has even discovered new species.

"If politicians, scientists and conservation organizations do not cooperate to develop and implement protective measures, many of the newly discovered species will be extinct in the near future," he said. — VNS

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