Conifer Conservation and Reforestation Project

Conifer Conservation and Reforestation Project


Vietnam is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, with an estimated 12,000 plant species. The majority of species are concentrated in the montane forests, and deforestation is and continues to be a major problem, with a rapidly growing human population of  77 million. It is estimated that forest cover reduced to <28% of its original extent, with much of the loss occurring since 1945.  The Vietnamese conifers represent a readily recognized group of plants that are emblematic of the problems facing biodiversity in Vietnam and have the potential to act as flagship species for local, regional and national conservation campaigns. This paper discusses three species in detail from a project that focused on five species: Pinus krempfii,  Taiwaniacryptomerioides and Xanthocyparis vietnamensis.


The mission of the project was to conserve and reforest five native conifer species in Vietnam. Since the project began in 2007, a nursery was established and wild trees were labeled and monitored by local families. In 2008, saplings were planted and are being monitored and maintained. The paper discusses findings from this project with specific emphasis on suitability of these three conifers, problems involved in their protection and efforts in the region to conserve them. 


The project finds that the three conifer species have a high scientific value as endemics (P. krempfii and X. vietnamensis) or as isolated relict populations (T. cryptomerioides) of monotypic genera once more widespread. All have restricted distributions and low rates of recruitment, and at least P. krempfii and T. cryptomerioides are dependent on episodic disturbance events over long (by human standards) time intervals for their effective regeneration.


Farjon A, Thomas P, Luu NDuc To. Conifer conservation in Vietnam: three potential flagship species. Oryx. 2004;38(03). doi:10.1017/S0030605304000481.


  • Global Trees Campaign - partnership between Flora and Fauna International and the Botanic Gardens Conservation International
  • Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR)