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Environmental plan for Mekong region discussed

Update: August, 20/2014 - 09:00

HA NOI (VNS) — Policy-makers discussed final details of a 2015 environmental work plan for the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) to Viet Nam at a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.

Sub-region countries – Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam - launched the programme in 2006.

It is supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Finland and Sweden plus the Nordic Development Fund.

The first phase of the programme was between 2006 and 2011, and the second phase between 2012 and 2016.

Speaking at the workshop, Sumit Pokhrel, Deputy Technical Programme Head from the GMS Environment Operations Centre, said it aimed to secure natural capital (ecosystem assets and services), optimise allocation of scarce resources and enhance the efficiency of resource supply chains in sub-region countries.

He said the programme also improved inclusiveness and equitable benefit sharing; and promoted integrated management of resources across international borders.

The programme's second phase aims to achieve an environmentally friendly and climate-resilient GMS economic co-operation programme.

Huynh Thi Mai, deputy head of the Biodiversity Conservation Department under Viet Nam Environment Administration, said that during 2014-16 in Viet Nam, the department would develop biodiversity conservation and livelihood in four provinces, including Cao Bang.

Mai said that an appropriate method to identify biodiversity hot spots in the province would be issued by ABD-hired consultants before the fourth quarter of this year.

She said a biodiversity conservation corridor was expected to be piloted in Cao Bang next year.

Do Dang Teo, from the GMS Environment Operations Centre, said that small-scale infrastructure would be improved for targeted communes in the provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue.

The workshop was organised by the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The GMS Core Environment Programme is based on the fact that the sub-region was one of the most dynamic regions in the world and had witnessed rapid economic growth in the past two decades.

Much of this was fuelled by the unsustainable use of its natural resources. While this has led to increased prosperity, it has also created immense pressure on the natural environment, including its rich and unique biodiversity. — VNS

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