Applying past lessons learned for sustainable development

12 Jun 2000

Ha Noi - Ensuring that measures to conserve the environment of an area do not impede upon the development needs of local residents can sometimes be a difficult task. A workshop commenced here today by the United Nations Development Programme and the Forest Protection Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will exchange ideas on how to do just that - sharing key lessons learned in conservation and development projects conducted in Viet Nam and discussing ways to make these projects more effective.

Currently, twelve Integrated Conservation and Development Projects (ICDPs) are being implemented in Viet Nam. ICDPs œ used throughout Asia, Africa and the Caribbean - aim to conserve biodiversity while also improving the quality of life for local residents in the area. Since the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) began using the ICDP approach in 1994, over fifty ICDPs have been implemented.

"Successful ICDPs can provide for the improvement of people's daily lives without threatening the environment within which they live. ICDPs are one example of how sustainable development can become a reality in Viet Nam", says Edouard A. Wattez, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ha Noi.

Whilst Viet Nam is one the most biologically-rich countries in the world, this richness is threatened by population pressures, agricultural expansion and commerical logging. In Viet Nam, ICDPs are an important part of the country's efforts to conserve the extraordinary biodiversity without marginalizing the people who are dependant upon these resources for their livelihood.

This week's workshop will bring together national government and international participants working on current and proposed ICDPs, as well as renowned international ICDP experts. Rather than re-learning the same lessons at each ICDP site in Viet Nam, the workshop will allow participants to share lessons learned to date, discuss ways to make ICDPs more effective, improve networking between people working on ICDPs in Viet Nam and agree on steps to strengthen existing and new ICDPs to improve the chances of success.

And the more successful ICDPs can be, then the greater the chance to halt the decline in biodiversity and environmental integrity in Viet Nam.

Contact Information

UNDP Public Information Unit, 942 1495