Bac Lieu moves to sustainably develop biodiversity

NDO – The Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) held a ceremony on August 16 to celebrate Prof. Dr. Dang Huy Huynh’s as the ASEAN Biodiversity Hero. Huynh, President of the Heritage Tree Council and Vice President of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE), is the first Vietnamese citizen and one of the 10 outstanding individuals from ASEAN member states to receive such a noble title on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN. The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes are individuals with significant contributions to the ASEAN biodiversity, through their activities and initiatives, contributing actively to the socio-economic development in their respective countries and in the region. During his over 60 years of research in biology, Prof. Huynh has made many contributions to the preservation of biodiversity in Vietnam and in the surrounding region. He possesses the ability to inspire the community in biodiversity conservation and development, and is recognised as one of Vietnam’s leading scientists. Prof. Huynh has been presented with nearly 20 orders and medals of different types, including the Ho Chi Minh Award (twice) – Vietnam’s most noble award in science and technology, the Vietnam Environmental Award in 2009, and a certificate of merit from the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment in recognition of his devotions to biodiversity conservation activities in 2015, among others. Holding a myriad of positions, both appointed by the State and entrusted by the society, concerning the environment, Prof. Huynh has implemented specific and practical…... [read more]

The discussion focused on the situation, role and challenges of forest biodiversity in Vietnam, as well as a new financial mechanism for forest biodiversity, including reimbursement for biodiversity. Sharing experiences in sustainable preservation of forests in Vietnam are on the agenda at the seminar. Vietnam ranks 16th in the world in terms of biodiversity but the country has seen its biodiversity and ecological systems, especially in tropical forests, degrade seriously in the recent past due to different causes, including population increase, pollution and climate change. The country’s primeval forests, home to many rare and precious animal and plant species, have shrunk in both acreage and quality, leading to the decrease in number of species living there. Hua Duc Nhi, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that over the past years, the forestry sector has exerted great efforts to preserve biodiversity. A preservation fund was established and two decrees were issued to regulate the management of special purpose forests and payments for environmental services. With assistance from the international community, Vietnam has established 2.2 million ha of special purpose forests including 160 forests representing the most important inland, wetland and sea ecologies. As a result, a large part of primeval forests and many animal and plant species have been protected. Juergen Hess, Co-Chairman of the Forest Sector Support Partnership (FSSP) said that the seminar was an FSSP initiative to prove its commitment and contributions to global efforts in biodiversity preservation, particularly those in Vietnam. The same day, over 300…... [read more]

Addressing the opening ceremony of the ASEAN exhibition on biodiversity in Hanoi on August 3, Mr Karmain emphasised that ASEAN is well known as one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the world, and renowned for its rich biological heritage. However, he said, the region is at risk with hundreds of species in ASEAN being threatened with internal and external socio-economic stresses, especially climate change. “So, the exhibition not only promotes public awareness and the need for people’s participation on biodiversity conservation but also strengthens cooperation among countries, within the region and beyond,” he added. Bui Cach Tuyen, Director-General of the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said raising public awareness is of significance to enhance people’s sense of responsibility for the protection of natural resources, including biodiversity. The exhibition, organised following the Vietnam’s initiatives as the ASEAN Chair on the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Environment from August 2-7, was part of activities in response to the International Year of Biodiversity 2010 with the slogan “Biodiversity is life. Biodiversity is our life”. Among 28 national protected areas listed in the ASEAN Heritage Parks, Vietnam contributes four, including Ba Be, Chu Mom Ray, Hoang Lien and Kon Ka Kinh.... [read more]

The event was co-organised by the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It was part of the activities to mark the 35th anniversary of Vietnam-Germany diplomatic relations and the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi. Addressing the conference, MARD Deputy Minister, Hua Duc Nhi, emphasised that countries should adapt to current climate change as well as political and economic changes caused by specific events, such as the recent global financial crisis. Mr Nhi stated that climate change has posed many challenges for Vietnam. To overcome these challenges, he said, it is essential to create a closer link between the State and the private sector, as well as boosting cooperation with international partners. This has provided a good opportunity for Vietnam to use its cooperation strategy to strengthen ties with foreign countries and build new financial models. BMZ Deputy Minister, Gudrun Kopp, highlighted the importance of raising public awareness of the effective and sustainable use of forests, as well as forest development and protection. Ms Kopp said that for many years, the German government has actively provided assistance to Vietnam’s forestry sector. So far, Germany has pledged total financial support of US$145 million, including US$90 million in finances and US$55 million in technical support. Most of the funds have been used for sustainable forest exploration and management, biodiversity preservation and coastal forest protection to cope with climate change. Currently, the two countries are implementing 13 cooperation projects worth US$92…... [read more]

Mr Nhi made the statement at a national conference to announce the government’s decree on special-purposed forest management that will come into force on March 1. According to the Deputy Minister, Decree No.117/ND-CP ensures harmony between national law and international conventions, helps deal with the overlapping of regulations in managing natural resources, and promotes better coordination between State agencies in biodiversity preservation. Ha Cong Tuan, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Forests, said that as a developing country, Vietnam faces many challenges such as the degradation of biodiversity in special-purposed forests, illegal timber exploitation and wildlife trading that leads to the extinction of many rare species while forest planning and management work is still out of control. However, with support from the Vietnamese government and the international community, the country has now had a total acreage of 2.2 million hectares of special-purposed forests. At the conference, Juergen Hess, coordinator of the natural resources management programme of the German International Cooperation Agency pledged continued support for Vietnam in natural resources management. The new decree would help to preserve biodiversity more effectively, he added.... [read more]

Working with Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabidfhasi as part of his trip to South Africa from March 21-29, Tuyen said the Vietnamese Government wants to bolster international cooperation in this field and the country has approved a national strategy and enforced a legal framework for biodiversity conservation. Vietnam has adopted a number of international agreements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR), Tuyen noted. Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi praised the Vietnamese delegation’s visit as a combined effort by the two governments and people to deepen their partnership and realise the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in Hanoi, and an action plan inked in 2013 in Pretoria regarding biodiversity preservation. During its stay, the delegation also toured a number of South African agencies and natural reserves.... [read more]

It was announced at a seminar in Hanoi on December 5 that 10-14 coastal provinces in Vietnam will be partially financed for sustainable development in the 2011-2020 period. Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Chu Pham Ngoc Hien said the Vietnam Sea and Islands General Department has worked with localities to implement the five-year plan on coastal region management in selected localities. Representative from PEMSEA Nancy Bermas said the implementation of the East Asia marine sustainable development strategy requires good management and utilisation of water supplies, pollution reduction and waste management, along with coastal region and urban development and biodiversity preservation. Vice Director of the Sea and Island Exploitation Management Department Hoang Duy Dong said almost 50 percent of big cities in Vietnam are in coastal areas and 23 percent of the population have been affected by climate change and rising sea levels. Since 2003, PEMSEA has assisted seven coastal provinces in Vietnam, namely, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Soc Trang and Kien Giang in poverty reduction for coastal communities, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable fishing management.... [read more]

The institute was established on the basis of upgrading the VNU’s research centre for natural resources and the environment, with the functions of facilitating the conduct of scientific research and technological applications in the fields of natural resources, environment and sustainable development; organising training activities in relevant branches in line with current regulations; and provide relevant consultations and services in the fields of natural resources, environment and sustainable development. Addressing the event, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Kim Son, President of the VNU, highlighted the significance of the establishment of the institute, hailing the facility as a central national agency that gathers forces to facilitate intersectoral researches on the preservation of natural resources, environmental protection, adaptation to climate change and sustainable development towards green growth. He urged the institute to focus on completing the organisational structure with a staff of competent, specialised, creative and wholehearted officials; implement topics for basic research, applied research and technology transfer; and develop models for preserving natural resources, protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development in the current globalisation context. The institute also needs to implement PhD training programmes on environment and sustainable development; work with the VNU’s member units in providing intersectoral PhD training and capacity building programmes for different subjects across the country; and expand domestic and international cooperation, Son said. At the ceremony, the VNU also announced the decision to appoint Hoang Van Thang, director of the VNU’s research centre for natural resources and environment, as the first head of the Institute of…... [read more]

The awards, designed for three groups — primary and secondary students; high school students; and college as well as university students and those aged between 19 and 30 years, look to seek, introduce, and popularise outstanding initiatives and models on environmental protection and sustainable development. The organising board received 1,500 entries from individuals and organisations in 50 provinces and cities throughout the country. The entries focused on energy saving, environmentally-friendly products, biodiversity preservation, waste recycling and treatment, policy solutions, environment education, and application of information-technology in environmental protection and management. Thirty of the most outstanding entries in the qualifying round were selected for the finale. Three first prizes were presented to students of Dang Chan Primary School, Son Duong district, Tuyen Quang province, in the primary and secondary students group; students of Van Ban No.4 High School, Lao Cai province, in the high school students group; Z751 enterprise under the General Department of Engineering in college, university students group. In addition, the organising board also presented six second prizes, nine third prizes, and twelve consolation prizes to other outstanding works.... [read more]

CM City - Ireland will step up its co-operation with HCM City in hi-tech agriculture and biochemical technologies, Irish President Michael Higgins said yesterday. He was responding to a request from Nguyễn Thanh Phong, Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee, that Irish businesses increase their investments in the city, particularly in areas that Ireland is strong in, like agriculture, food processing, diary products and telecommunications. The city also hopes for greater co-operation with Ireland in climate change responses. Speaking at a reception for the visiting President and his spouse Sabina Higgins, Phong also suggested that Ireland continue assisting Viet Nam in education and training. He also called on Ireland to facilitate access for Vietnamese garments and textiles, footwear, farm produce, processed food and handicrafts. Phong said President Higgins's visit would contribute to enhancing fruitful relations between Viet Nam and Ireland. Higgins responded that based on the outcomes of his meetings with Vietnamese leaders and the freshly-signed agreements, he was confident that bilateral ties woud be taken to new heights. Ireland's investment strategy dovetails nicely with Việt Nam's green and sustainable development strategy, he said. Both countries should support each other in the task of achieving balanced, sustainable growth, the Irish President said. He said Ireland also wishes to partner with HCM City in facilitating the entry of either country's products into each other's markets,. After the meeting, President Higgins and municipal leaders witnessed the signing of several MoUs (memoranda of understanding) on co-operation in education, aviation, research and biodiversity…... [read more]

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