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The Missouri Botanical Garden was first invited to visit Viet Nam in 1994 after the 15th International Botanical Congress in Yokohama, Japan. Dr. Daniel Harder of the Garden met with biologists from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR) within the National Center for Natural Science and Technology (NCST) to initiate discussions of the establishment of collaborative ties between our institutions. A formal agreement soon followed. Subsequent botanical explorations by other Garden botanists have yielded incredible discoveries and contributed greatly to our presently incomplete understanding of the flora of Viet Nam.
With support from the Garden and the National Science Foundation the Missouri Botanical Garden established the Viet Nam Botanical Conservation Program and opened an office in Ha Noi in the fall of 1998. Dr. Harder heads up the Program with the following objectives:
Strengthening the botanical research capacity within Viet Nam through improvement to in-country infrastructure and directed, participatory training programs in botanical field techniques, herbarium management, plant identification, taxonomy, indigenous plant use, ethnobotanical surveying, conservation, and environmental awareness.
Carry out botanical inventories and make collection of specimens,
Contribute to a Government of Viet Nam initiative to conserve and expand protected areas based on sound biodiversity inventory data, and
Publish and disseminate the collected scientific data and information.
Department of Botany, Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources of the National Center for Science and Technology, Nghia Do, Cau Giay, Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Dr. Nguyen Tien Hiep
Eng. Ngoc Q. Binh
Eng. Nguyen Van Dzu
Eng. Nguyen Quang Hieu
Eng. Nguyen Thanh Huong
Department of Botany, Faculty of Biology, University of Natural Sciences, Viet Nam National University, 90 Nguyen Trai Street, Thanh Xuan, Ha Noi, Viet Nam
Prof. Dr. Phan Ke Loc
Prof. Dr. Thin
Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Popov Street, 2, St Petersburg, Russia
Prof. Dr. Leonid Averyanov
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
In the Fall of 1998 the National Science Foundation granted the Missouri Botanical Garden a three year grant to survey the rich botanical diversity of Viet Nam (DEB-9870231, Collaborative Research: A Multi-Taxa Inventory of Threatened Conservation Areas in Viet Nam). In collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York the project has the following objectives:
1. Conduct inventories of plants and animals in threatened regions of high biotic importance in order to describe new taxa, assess species richness and distribution patterns, and contribute to broad biogeographic and phylogenetic studies;
2. Build long-term institutional and intellectual capacity in Viet Nam for systematic and biogeographical research, for related studies on evolution and ecology, and for efforts to apply biological data to the conservation of the country's biodiversity;
3. Produce and disseminate scientific publications, species lists, keys, catalogs, monographs, and databases in electronic and traditional formats; and
4. Collaborate with governmental and non-governmental organizations to broaden recognition of Viet Nam's biotic diversity, to identify threats, and to contribute to the process of conservation planning and protected areas management.
This project is focused on gathering comparative data sets on plant and animal diversity from within areas of interest to the Government of Viet Nam for protection. The NSF support has allowed the MBG to focus on the rich botanical diversity while also working closely with collaborators from the AMNH to inventory and integrate their zoological investigations. Results of our investigations are made available to interested parties within government and non-governmental organizations to be used to support biodiversity conservation efforts in Viet Nam.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
National Geographic Society support for a project titled,"Botanical Inventory of Unexplored Areas in Viet Nam: The North".
With a focus on areas where no information on botanical diversity is presently available, the Missouri Botanical Garden and collaborators from Viet Nam will inventory the botanical richness from within sites in the northern provinces of Ha Giang, Lai Chau, and Son La. The forests in these areas exist only as vulnerable fragments and no collections have ever been gathered. These explorations will collect herbarium specimens and floristic data supporting detailed descriptions of the flora and vegetation. Duplicates of the collections and associated data will be distributed to investigators worldwide. Research work is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2000.