|Ba Be National Park— File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— By 2020, Viet Nam intends to set up 41 nature reserves under the National Strategy on Biodiversity, officials announced at a recent meeting held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Viet Nam, one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change, now has 148 nature reserves. When the new 775,000 ha are officially marked off, reserves will account for nine per cent of the country's land. Marine reserves will cover about one quarter of one per cent of coastal sea areas.
Director of the ministry's Biodiversity Conservation Department Pham Anh Cuong said that Viet Nam was included in the World Wildlife Fund's list of global eco regions, a science-based global ranking of the Earth's most biologically outstanding terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats.
However, the country also faced severe biodiversity losses and degradation due to over-exploitation and illegal trading of rare plants and animals.
The Viet Nam Red Book 2007 lists 418 fauna and 464 flora species as endangered, 161 more than in 1992. Nine species have been listed as extinct in the wild in Viet Nam.
Scientists at the meeting emphasised that biodiversity was the foundation of a green economy, saying that biodiversity conservation would mitigate the impact of climate change and develop the economy.
The strategy targets coverage of 45 per cent of the nation's forests and 0.57 million ha of primeval forests.The area of mangrove forests will be maintained at the current level and 15 per cent of degraded natural ecosystem areas will be rehabilitated.
The country is expected to have 10 biosphere reserves, 10 ASEAN heritage parks and 10 Ramsar sites by 2020.
Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention. This international agreement was signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971 and provides for the conservation and good use of wetlands. Viet Nam signed on to the Ramsar Convention in 1989. — VNS