CAO LANH CITY — Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta authorities must protect wetland areas against the impact of economic development through advanced conservation measures, experts have recommended.
|Tram Chim National Park in the southern province of Dong Thap has been selected as the 2,000th Ramsar site. Experts are calling for advanced conservation measures to protect wetlands in the Mekong Delta region from the impacts of economic development. — VNS Photo Doan Tung
"We should develop the economy based on natural conservation," said Nguyen Hoang Tri, general secretary of the Viet Nam National Committee for UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme.
Tri was speaking at the fourth forum on "Nature and Cultural Conservation for Sustainable Development of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta" held in Dong Thap Province on Monday.
He said biological exploitation must be carefully considered, including the type of tourism promotions for the wetlands areas.
The Delta needed to identify the kind of birds and fish that people would be permitted to catch, as well as the number and length of time for doing so.
"The Delta's biological diversification is seriously degrading, and this is the smartest way to protect the nature and develop the economy at the same time," said Dr Nguyen Van Duc, deputy minister of Natural Resources and Environment.
The wetlands area accounts for 80 per cent of the total 3.9 million ha in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, but only 2.7 per cent or 105,000 ha can be preserved for bio-diversity.
Nearly 150 delegates from 13 regional provinces, universities, research institutes and foreign organisations participated in the forum, organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for the first time.
At the forum, organisers also announced that the Tram Chim National Park in Dong Thap Province has been selected as the 2,000th Ramsar site (Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971). It is the first such site in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta and the fourth in Viet Nam.
The Ca Mau Headland National Park is expected to become the fifth Ramsar site by the end of this year.
"Despite getting more attention from the Government, wetland area protection is still facing many challenges as we don't have an exclusive law for the sector, and there is no master planning and co-operative mechanism between ministries and industries. Also, economic pressure is increasing," said Pham Anh Cuong, head of the ministry's Bio-diversity Conservation Department.
At the forum, speakers from the old Ramsar site shared their experiences on how to conserve and develop Ramsar sites, as scientists prepare for the next Ramsar sites in the future.
"The World Wide Fund for Nature Viet Nam has pledged to spend 80 per cent of its budget for climate change and wetland management in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta and the central region of the country," said Huynh Tien Dzung, director of the WWW Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta programme. — VNS