|The event, entitled "Global targets, local benefits - Setting the sustainable development agenda for the seas of East Asia beyond 2015", drew the participation of 400 deputies from 19 nations and organisations. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
DA NANG (VNS) — The East Asia Sea has played an important role in Vietnamese culture for many generations, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said in a keynote address during the opening ceremony of the fifth East Asian Seas Congress in Da Nang yesterday.
The event, entitled "Global targets, local benefits - Setting the sustainable development agenda for the seas of East Asia beyond 2015", drew the participation of 400 deputies from 19 nations and organisations.
"Viet Nam has made achievements in the reduction of marine pollution and the degradation of wetland forests, as well as in reviving biodiversity and seafood sources, coral reefs and important ecological systems in recent years," Hai said.
The Deputy PM said the East Asia Sea carries 50 per cent of the world's cargo on the sea route connecting with Europe, adding that it plays an important role in security, defence and socio-economic development.
"We, however, have exploited too many resources from the sea, which resulted in the heavy destruction of resources, marine ecological systems and creatures, as well as serious pollution," Hai said.
He emphasised that human activities, especially illegal large-scale construction and the transformation of islands and reefs, do not comply with international law and have seriously threatened marine resources, the security of navigation, national sovereignty and lives.
Hai said East Sea nations, with support from the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), have implemented sustainable development strategies to better manage the sea, coastline and islands.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Nguyen Minh Quang said the Congress is an opportunity for member countries to share experiences and form relationships among coastal and island locals with a 2030 vision.
Mary Seet-Cheng, ambassador and chair of the East Asia Seas Partnership Council said that since the EAS Congress was first held 12 years ago, PEMSEA has built partnerships across several sectors and has served as a venue for stakeholders to integrate plans directed towards a stronger region.
She said that this year's EAS Congress lied in a pivotal position since it would start laying the foundation for updating regional goals in line with the global discussion on post-2015 sustainable development targets.
In addition, Seet-Cheng said the fifth ministerial forum would address policies and commitments to adopt an updated sustainable development strategy for the Seas of East Asia (SDS-SEA), while setting a post-2015 target for PEMSEA. — VNS