Over 2,600 heritage trees recognised since 2010

At a seminar regarding the PES policy in Hanoi on February 26, MARD Deputy Minister Hua Duc Nhi said that the decree will help stabilise the lives of forest growers and protect forests and their resources, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preventing climate change. According to Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Vietnam, Francis Donovan, Vietnam is the first country in Southeast Asia to create a PES policy. Successful implementation of this policy will help mobilise all resources for forest protection, he added. Jim Peters, Director of the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Programme (ARBCP), spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in financing forest environmental services. The Central Highland province of Lam Dong and the north-western province of Son La, where the pilot PES policy is being implemented, have established a mechanism for scientific exchange and successfully managed payment methods between sellers and buyers, he said. Emphasising the great benefits that the implementation of the PES policy will bring to the national economy, Peters also warned of difficulties and challenges during the process. Participants at the seminar, jointly held by MARD, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) organisation and WINROCK International, focused discussions on levels of payments for forest environmental services as well as payment methods. An international conference on experiences in implementing the PES policy is expected to be held in Vietnam in June.... [read more]

“As a new social policy, the PES Policy aims to promote the protection of forests, the environment and water resources, combining efforts to deal with climate change to bring practical benefits to forest growers,” the Deputy PM told a conference to review the Prime Minister’s decision relating to pilot payments for forest environmental services in Hanoi on March 9. The PES Policy has been implemented on a trial basis in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong and the northern province of Son La since 2008 with technical and financial assistance from WINROCK International, USAID, and the GTZ. In localities where the PES Policy is enforced, local people who take part in growing and protecting forests act as providers as well as beneficiaries of forest environmental services while the users of resources from protected forests, such as hydro-electric power plants, are required to pay for forest environmental services. According to Hoang Si Son, Vice Chairman of the Lam Dong Provincial People’s Committee, up to 80 percent of forest environmental services payments collected have been given to local people, helping a sizable number of poor households escape from poverty. The remaining 20 percent were used to re-invest in tree planting and forest protection in the locality, partly helping reduce local authorities’ dependence on the State budget allocated for the work. Jim Peters, Director of the Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Programme (ARBCP), said that Vietnam has implemented the pilot PES Policy successfully. The outcomes of the PES Policy implementation in Lam Dong…... [read more]

On the theme of ‘Climate Change’, Vietnamese and foreign volunteers joined local children and social workers in Hai Duong province in what was called “an international camp” on June 5. Another 50 volunteer camps will be held in 6 cities and provinces nationwide, drawing the participation of thousands of Vietnamese and foreign youths. The most outstanding volunteers will be chosen to take part in training courses to convey messages about the need for a green, clean and beautiful environment and how to reduce the impact of climate change for sustainable development. In addition, the volunteers will live in the community for a certain period of time to get a clearer idea of the situation so as to design a suitable strategy for local people to bring about measures to cope with climate change most effectively. A website will be set up to link Vietnamese and foreign organisations and send information to related agencies through Facebook or blogging, e-mail to other environment protection clubs. *** In Ho Chi Minh City: Over 1,000 people took part in a meeting to respond to World Environment Day in Binh Phu Park, District 6 on June 5, organised by the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Activities will focus on biodiversity conservation such as planting trees, reintroducing animals into the wild, refraining from using food that originates from wild animals and mobilising people not to drop litter in public. Fourteen wards in District 6 signed a commitment to implement measures to combat littering. In…... [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]

It is part of the “Avoidance of deforestation and forest degradation in the border area of southern Laos and central Vietnam for the long-term preservation of carbon sinks and biodiversity” project of the WWF Greater Mekong Programme. The sub-project aims to develop a sustainable management and protection of approximate 200,000 ha trans-boundary forest area which contains global biodiversity values and high level of ability to absorb carbon dioxide. The aim is to avoid emissions of 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide delivering from deforestation and forest degradation. The sub-project, supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany, is scheduled to run in four years. It covers the two Sao La Nature Reserves and the Bach Ma National Park in Vietnam and the Xe Sap National Protected Area in Laos. These areas are connected with Phong Dien and Song Thanh Nature Reserves in Vietnam via natural forest corridors. WWF Vietnam – Central Annamites Landscape Manager, Van Ngoc Thinh said: “The success of the sub-project will be seen through many indicators including reforestation and protection of assigned forest areas, reduced impacts to forests from illegal logging, increased diversity and populations of mammals, and additional income of local households”.... [read more]

The celebration is held annually by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam, Biodiversity Conservation Agency, and the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, TRAFFIC. Over the years, Vietnam has exerted significant efforts in tiger conservation by banning tiger hunting and putting the animal on the list of endangered species in need of protection. However, hunting, illegal trade and illicit transport of this iconic animal are becoming prevalent due to the huge potential for economic profit. According to the 2010 Report from Education for Nature-Vietnam, the country is on the verge of tiger extinction. It is estimated that only 3,200 wild tigers survive worldwide, their population having decreased by about 95 percent and their range by 93 percent since 1900. This steep decline is mainly due to heavy poaching and the illegal trade in tiger paraphernalia to supply a thriving black market demand. As well as this, loss of habitat due to deforestation and an increase in the number of animals preying on tigers have also led to their decline. Vietnam is a significant market for tiger products, as illegal medicines made from tiger bone and tiger wines have become popular, especially among the wealthy, because of their supposed remedial powers. The demand for tiger parts in Vietnam has led to animals being smuggled in from elsewhere in the region. In March and June of last year, three tigers sourced from Laos were seized in Vietnam, believed to be intended for further domestic distribution. The country is also a transit point for a…... [read more]

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Vietnam, there are only 3,200 wild tigers surviving in the world today, therefore the target is to increase that figure to 6,400 by 2022. The decline in the wild tiger population is primarily due to heavy poaching and illegal trade in tiger parts, as well as the loss of habitat and animals for tigers to prey on. Vietnam is a “hot” market for tiger products, as illegal medicines made from tiger bones and tiger wines have become very popular, especially among the wealthy and senior officials, because of their supposed medicinal powers. The Environmental Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security, says Vietnam has only 95 surviving tigers which are caged in farms, zoos and circuses. Hunting, illegal trading and illicit transportation of the animal are prevalent due to the potential for huge economic profit. Three tigers sourced from Laos were seized in Vietnam between March and June last year. Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, Deputy Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Agency under the Vietnam Environment Administration, said, “It is high time to take action for tiger conservation. Conserving tigers and their habitat is conserving our biodiversity and ecosystem, thus contributing to environmental protection and sustainable development.” On July 29, Vietnam celebrated the second annual Global Tiger Day with a number of events to raise public awareness, gain support for tiger conservation and call for an end to the illegal tiger trade. At the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in November 2010, heads of…... [read more]

The three operations approved include the Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrading Project, the Second Power Sector Reform Development Policy Operation, and the Forest Sector Development Project - Additional Financing. All three projects support the World Bank’s new Country Partnership Strategy for Vietnam (2011-2016). “The approval of the three operations demonstrates the continued strong partnership between Vietnam and the World Bank. They address emerging challenges such as rapid urbanization, the need for an efficient power sector to meet Vietnam's rapidly growing demand for power to support rapid growth, and the importance of sustainable management of Vietnam's forest resources to help move rural communities out of poverty," saidVictoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam. The Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrading Project will improve infrastructure and services for more than 1.5 million people in six cities in the Mekong Delta Region, namely Can Tho, My Tho, Cao Lanh, Ca Mau, Rach Gia, and Tra Vinh. An estimated 275,900 people living in low income areas of these cities will directly benefit from improved infrastructure such as roads, drainage, canals, water supply and sanitation, public facilities, and power supply based on the communities’ expressed priorities. The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s resource for low income countries, will finance US$292 million for this project. The Second Power Sector Reform Development Policy Operation of a series of three policy operations that support the Government in implementing reforms in the power sector to facilitate and promote effective competition in power generation, transparency and predictability in…... [read more]

Nguyen The Dong, VEA Deputy Head, reported this at a seminar in Hanoi on March 23 to build the national strategy for bio-diversification by 2020. Over the past years, Vietnam has shown strong its determination to protect natural resources and biodiversity through building policies and plans on biodiversity conservation, such as the Fisheries Law in 2003, Law on Forest Protection and Development in 2004, Law on Environmental Protection in 2005 and Law on Bio-diversification in 2008. However, there remain difficulties in building and carrying strategies and policies for biodiversity conservation. The Prime Minister has called for coordinated efforts of relevant agencies as well as domestic and foreign organizations to build the strategy by 2020. A draft strategy will be submitted to the Government for approval and issuance in late 2012.... [read more]

The project, part of ADB’s “Green Cities: A Sustainable Future in Southeast Asia” initiative, will focus on protecting the environment, promoting sustainable economic growth, and ensuring value-life balance. Under the bank’s assistance, green economic zones will be developed together with increasingly improved standard of living. ADB selected Thua Thien-Hue as one of its aid recipients, with a view to upgrading infrastructure and adapting to climate change. Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Cao affirmed that Thua Thien-Hue is striving to become an ecological city which targets a green economy, an effective use of energy and other natural resources, and an environmentally friendly lifestyle. So far, ADB has funded 16 projects worth US$123 million in the province, mostly on environmental protection, technology transfer, and capacity building. Currently, Thua Thien-Hue is implementing projects on biodiversity conservation, tourism development, and water supply.... [read more]

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