Danang woman nominated to Future for Nature Award

Le Thi Trang has been nominated for an International Future for Nature Award 2015 for her red-shanked doucs protection plan and dangerous work in protecting wildlife from hunters and traffickers in the central and highlands regions of Vietnam.


Le Thi Trang (right) guides primary students on a field trip Red-shanked doucs.

Trang, 29, from Son Tra Peninsula, Danang Province, has had a passion for wild animals since she was small and is a member of Education for Nature - Vietnam (ENV).

"I wanted to work at ENV to be able to work more closely with animals," Trang said. "Each time I go into the forest, I get to know more about rare species like the red-shanked doucs, pangolin and the rhesus macaque."

At ENV, Trang researches wildlife hunting and trading in the central and highlands regions of Vietnam, and works with local authorities to raise awareness about the need for wildlife protection. 

Trang and her group have travelled to many forests and had a number of dangerous encounters with illegal hunters.

She also joined the Green Viet Biodiversity Conservation Centre in 2013 after working with centre members on a red-shanked doucs protection plan. Green Viet has held several programmes to introduce the endangered species to the local people and visitors, and organises weekly trips into the forests around Son Tra to educate the public.

"There were times we went to forests in the Central Highlands region to monitor activities of a species," she said. "They were not afraid of us and even teased us. My job is really fun. I'd be sad and miss them if I had to stay home and do nothing."

Trang said there are many rare species in Son Tra's forests, but local people are not aware they have a responsibility to protect them. Local authorities are being taught the advantages of developing protection plans as a way of encouraging environmental tourism to the area.

Last November, Trang submitted her strategies to protect red-shanked doucs to the Future for Nature Award 2015, hoping to let conservationist worldwide know more about this species and to find sponsors for her work.

"To be nominated to the Future for Nature is a huge motivation for me to complete my plans," she said. "I want to let people understand that protecting animals is everyone's mission, not just for conservationists and forest rangers. The statistics about Son Tra's biodiversity are old now, and I want to collect fresh data so we can better decide what we need to do."

The prestigious Future for Nature Award 2015 celebrates tangible achievements by young and talented conservationists around the world who are committed to protecting wild animals and plants. Ten nominees will be chosen as finalists, with three winners to be selected later in the year.


Future for Nature Award