VEA Director General Nguyễn Văn Tai speaks at the conference. — Photo botainguyenmoitruong.vn
HÀ NỘI — Viet Nam Environment Administration (VEA), under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in co-ordination with UNDP launched a Biosphere Reserves (BRs) management project on Tuesday morning in Ha Noi.
The project “Mainstreaming Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity Conservation Objectives into Socio-Economic Development Planning and Management of Biosphere Reserve in Viet Nam”, has funding of US$666 million from the Global Environment Fund and will be implemented in Ha Noi and three biosphere reserves in Đồng Nai, Cu Lao Cham-Hoi An, and Nghe An over the next five years.
VEA Director General Nguyễn Văn Tai said building biosphere reserves aimed to strike a balance between biodiversity conservation, natural resources and socio-economic development.
Over the past 20 years, Viet Nam has had nine UNESCO-recognised biosphere reserves that have gained high biodiversity conservation value, with great potential to become sustainable development models.
Many initiatives have been adopted in Viet Nam, including a model of nature conservation and biodiversity, livelihood improvement and community ecotourism development.
UNDP reported that Viet Nam ranked 16th among the most biodiverse countries on earth and was one of the ten richest centres of biodiversity.
In an effort to maintain this rich natural endowment, and to help reverse the degradation trend of biodiversity loss over the last few decades, the country has been establishing a network of protected areas (PAs) nationwide, with 164 national parks (NPs) and nature reserves (NRs), and five marine PAs.
However, Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam said: “Most PAs in Viet Nam are located in areas of high poverty and it is a great challenge to achieve the often-conflicting objectives of conservation and development.”
She said biosphere reserves management in Viet Nam was facing a lack of legal framework, hence inadequately facilitates multisectoral coordination within one province, and more so interprovincial cooperation for effective management of BRs at sites located in multiple provinces. — VNS