Wetlands mitigate disaster risks

Update: February, 06/2017 - 09:00
Participants planted trees in an alluvial piece of land in Thái Thụy District following the ceremony held in Thụy Xuân Commune, Thái Thụy District to mark the World Wetlands Day (February 2). — VNA/VNS Photo Xuân Tiến
Viet Nam News

THÁI BÌNH — The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Trần Hồng Hà, highlighted on Sunday the importance of wetlands in disaster risk reduction.

Wetlands help reduce flooding, breaks strong waves, protects against storms and land erosion, and preserve biodiversity, he said at a ceremony in Thái Bình Province on Sunday.

The ceremony, marking the World Wetlands Day (February 2) was held in Thụy Xuân Commune, Thái Thụy District.

It was attended by central and local officials, representatives of international organisations, and residents from 13 coastal communes of Thái Binh.

The World Wetlands Day marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, also called the Ramsar Convention, in 1971.

Việt Nam officially became a member of this convention in 1989 and was also the first Southeast Asian nation to commit to conserving and sustainably developing its wetlands.

Việt Nam is home to more than 10 million hectares of wetlands, which account for some 30 per cent of its mainland area. About one-fifth of the country’s population live in wetland areas and directly depend on the wetlands for their livelihood.

However, wetlands in Việt Nam are under threat from economic activities, especially agriculture, aquaculture and industry. The overexploitation of natural resources has badly polluted the environment, Minister Hà noted.

He called on authorities and sectors at all levels, as well as each and every citizen to play their part in raising public awareness of the importance of wetlands.

Việt Nam needs to build and carry out sustainable wetland conservation and development models that encourage the involvement and ensure the interests of local communities, he said.

He called for wetland conservation and exploitation activities to be part of socio-economic development plans so as to minimise negative environmental impacts.

Following the ceremony, participants planted trees in an alluvial piece of land in Thái Thụy District.

On December 2, 2014, UNESCO recognised the Red River Delta Biosphere Reserve, which covers the wetlands in the south of the northern coastal region. Parts of the reserve lie in the Red River Deta provinces of Thái Bình, Nam Định and Ninh Bình.

As per a decision issued the same year by the then Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, the coastal river mouth area in Thái Thụy District will also become a wetland nature reserve. — VNS