Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — How to improve the quality of natural capital is a challenge and also a target that Viet Nam is aiming for to ensure rapid and sustainable development.
This was stated by Nguyễn Thế Chinh, director general of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, at a workshop in Hà Nội yesterday.
"The solution is to make use of Việt Nam’s assets, learn from international experience and combine the development of science, technology and capital sources, including natural capital," he said.
The consultant workshop gathered experts and officials from related agencies, institutes and universities to discuss how to operate the Natural Capital Platform in Việt Nam effectively.
Natural capital, defined as the net value of a country or region’s natural assets, includes geological features, soil, air, water and all living things. It is generally considered to comprise three principal categories, namely natural resource stocks, land and eco-systems.
Natural Capital Platform in Việt Nam is a non-profit and non-political organisation. Its aim is to enhance the knowledge base and ensure well-coordinated efforts that will raise awareness of the importance of natural capital considerations among relevant stakeholders to integrate it into planning, budgeting and accounting for sustainable development in Việt Nam.
It welcomes the participation of all interested parties -- government policies makers, technical staff, relevant development partners and non-governmental organisations, as well as civil society and private sector.
ISPONRE, which founded the platform, also takes the lead and coordinates with national and international platforms. The foreign partners include UNDP, Asian Development Bank and German Agency for International Cooperation.
According to Chinh after 30 years of đổi mới (reform), Việt Nam has made remarkable achievements. The country’s growth depends primarily on existing natural resources. This has led to environmental pollution, reduction in natural resources and affected the quality of eco-systems, threatening economic development.
The gathering agreed that using natural capital effectively is extremely important to help Việt Nam reach Sustainable Development Goals and implement multilateral environmental agreements, including the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Đào Xuân Lai, UNDP representative, said “We should begin from a scientific foundation. It means we should call for participation and support from scientific institutes and organisations at the beginning of the platform’s establishment.”
Associate Prof Dr Đặng Huy Huỳnh, former executive committee deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment, suggested that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment or Ministry of Planning and Investment be the supporting unit in terms of policies for the platform.
“We should also take into consideration the participation of the community, for example, of 54 ethnic groups in Việt Nam, in discovering and protecting natural capital as they know the country’s natural resources very well,” he said.
According to ISPONRE, the next steps of the platform are to set up a technical working group, including experts, leading managers working in the natural capital sector in Viet Nam and a coordination committee to propose a list of priority policy briefs for collaborative efforts. — VNS