Friday, March 8, 2013

Vietnamese Updates: Vietnam’s Sea: the world’s centre for marine biodiversity (4 Mar 2013)

Vietnam’s Sea: the world’s centre for marine biodiversity 
Thứ hai, ngày 04 tháng 03 năm 2013 cập nhật lúc 22:53

With a coastline of over 3,260 kilometres and over three thousand small and large islands, Vietnam has different types of minerals. Vietnam’s waters are recognized as one of the ten typical marine biodiversity centers in the world. Marine biodiversity and ecosystems are the foundation for long-term development of a number of economic sectors such as tourism, fisheries and marine medical. Therefore, island protection and development play an important role for the country’s development.

Challenges to Vietnam’s marine environment
According to the 2010 Vietnam Environmental Report, water surface of the coastal areas is facing serious pollution because the pollution has been happening in many parts of the rivers. The amount of solid waste, industrial and medical waste in the coastal areas has constantly increased over the years. According to statistics of the 2010 Report on Sea Environmental Status, the amount of solid waste in the coastal areas in 2009 was 14.03 million tons. Local governments have paid attentions to waste collection and treatment in the coastal regions but not paid proper investments. Solid wastes which have not collected and treated thoroughly affect to water quality and people’s lives in coastal areas and cause damage to the sea-related economic sectors.

At the moment, threats to marine biodiversity in Vietnam are increasing along with the population increase and expansion of economic and exploitation activities. Destructive fishing methods and irrational development of economic sectors along with weak people’s awareness have destroyed the marine biological diversity. Coral reefs have been declining in both quality and coverage. For instance, the area of coral reefs coverage in the north has reduced from one fourths to one haft. 85% of coral reefs are not good or in bad quality.
Some suggestions to protect marine environment
In recent years, Vietnam has paid special attention to the protection of the marine environment through the issuance of guidelines, policies and legal documents. The 2005 Environmental Protection Law has four articles regulating marine environment protection (Articles 55 to 58). Moreover, to specify provisions of the Law on Environmental Protection, the Government issued Decree No. 25/2009/ND-CP dated 6/3/2009 on the integrated management of natural resources and protection of the marine and island environment. Vietnam has also issued Vietnam's Sea Strategy to 2020, a vision to 2030, which aims to policies and actions in order to better understand the seas and islands and preserve nature and environmental quality.

In the future, natural resources and the environment sector will continue to build up and complete sea and islands-related policy and law in the direction of integrated and unified management of natural resources and marine environment in coordination with socialist-oriented market economy. Natural resources and environment sector has gradually strengthened its organization and sea and islands-related professional agencies. Also, this sector should distribute the administrative functions based on coastal boundary among local authorities. At the same time, it has deployed a project strengthening the capacity of State management system on sea in the period 2010 - 2015. It is necessary to perfect policies and laws to create legal foundation so as to make synchronization relations in the exploitation and use of the sea and islands as well as effective implementation of integrated coastal area management.

Besides, Vietnam has also participated in planning and implementing international and regional agreements and action plans in the field of mining and sustainable use of marine resources, environmental protection and protection of marine biodiversity on the principles of national sovereignty and territorial integrity for mutual benefit.

To protect the marine environment, not only the natural resources and the environment sector but also other sectors which use marine resources should apply environmentallly-friendly technology in exploiting, farming, mining, fishing and seafood processing. All economic sectors should strengthen the management and efficient processing of waste, pollutants before flowing out to the sea.

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