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Viet Nam celebrates biodiversity

Update: May, 23/2013 - 08:47
This picture titled "Motherhood" by Le Minh Ngoc from the central province of Binh Thuan captures the poignant moment of a mother bird and her fledgings. This picture has won first prize in a photo contest on the theme "Biodiversity in Viet Nam" held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to celebrate International Biodiversity Day.

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam has identified conserving biodiversity as one of the fundamental tasks in its environmental protection efforts and would push harder on that particular area.

Among the concrete actions the country would be taking include refining the legal framework, strengthening law enforcement capacity and consolidating links between domestic and international conservation efforts.

These remarks were delivered by Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen.

He was speaking to more than 400 attendees including government officials, civil society representatives and students at a ceremony to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity held in Ha Noi yesterday.

Tuyen said Viet Nam had made a strong commitment to conserving biodiversity. The country developed the first Biodiversity Action Plan in 1995 and adopted the Biodiversity Law in 2008.

It was going to set in motion the national strategy on biodiversity by 2020 with a vision to 2030 soon.

He said its commitment went beyond borders because Viet Nam had signed a number of international conventions, notably the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

"In the future, the commitment will be even higher. The recently-ratified Party Central Committee Resolution - one of the most important political documents in this country that sets the agenda for environmental protection activities - puts strong emphasis on the task of conserving biodiversity," Tuyen said.

The United Nations in Viet Nam noted that the ceremony was a good chance to remind the public that Viet Nam's biodiversity, while among the world's richest, was still under stress and even declining due largely to illegal and unsustainable exploitation. The country's vulnerability to climate change increased the risk even further, it stressed.

"If the current trend of biodiversity loss continues, Viet Nam will struggle to sustain its agriculture and fisheries - both essential to achieving Viet Nam's development targets," said Country Director of the UN Development Programme in Viet Nam Louise Chamberlain.

Chamberlain said the UNDP was working closely with Viet Nam to halt biodiversity losses, adding that biodiversity conservation and protected areas development was one of the top priorities of the UN in Viet Nam.

The UNDP is working with relevant agencies to develop a sustainable financing mechanism for protected areas in Viet Nam and to develop a project that will establish a sub-system of protected wetlands.

Viet Nam is acknowledged for its biodiversity, and is a prioritised nation for global conservation. In Viet Nam's terrestrial ecosystems, more than 13,200 floral species and about 10,000 faunal species have been identified. The tropical marine, with more than 20 typical ecosystems, is home to more than 11,000 sea creatures.

The International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls on May 22nd every year, is designated by the United Nations to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity.

This year's theme "Water and Biodiversity" aims to recognise the strong links between water security and biodiversity conservation. — VNS


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