Vietnam is home to one of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems — but the country’s natural environment has deteriorated rapidly over the last decade, according to a report released today by the World Bank. The report, “Vietnam Environment Monitor 2002,” found that of the nation’s endemic species, 28 percent of mammals, 10 percent of birds, and 21 percent of reptiles and amphibians are currently endangered, mainly due to hunting and habitat loss. World Bank environmental specialist Patchamuthu Illangovan acknowledged that it would be “a huge challenge” to counter the “drastic decline in environmental quality” — especially since only 0.85 percent of the national budget is earmarked for environmental protection.