|Researchers create environment to raise useful microorganisms. — VNA/VNS Photo|Viet Nam News
LÀO CAI — A project aiming to promote biodiversity in Việt Nam was launched yesterday by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) in the northern province of Lào Cai.
The project aims to assist access to genetic resources in Việt Nam, as well as to the implementation of pilot projects on medicinal plant genetics and traditional herbal healthcare by people of the Dao ethnic minority in the province.
It will be implemented over four years at a cost of $12.5 million, 16 per cent of which is supported in cash by the UN Development Program. The rest is supported by the Government’s matching funds and technical assistance from other international organisations.
The project was developed as a capacity building step for the actualisation of the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing, which was ratified at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan in 2010 and went into effect in 2014.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Dr Nguyễn Văn Tài, director general of the Việt Nam Environmental Administration, said the sharing of benefits of Việt Nam’s genetic resources with other countries has not been developed due to a lack of legal framework to manage such relationships.
“This is our opportunity to sustainably manage the use of genetic resources in the country and focus on the shared benefits of using them,” he said.
Despite having a high biodiversity with more than 95 types of ecosystems, hundreds of animal species and genetic resources in Việt Nam are facing threats from population growth and human overexploitation, according to MoNRE.
Akiko Fujii, deputy country director of UNDP Việt Nam, expressed appreciation of Việt Nam’s pioneering step in actualising the Nagoya Protocol. “The project will build an important foundation for the long-term implementation of the protocol,” she said. — VNS