Viet Nam’s GEF action plan discussed

Oct 5, 2006

HA NOI - International and national environment experts will gather in Ha Noi over the next three days to discuss Viet Nam’s national action plan for protecting the environment through the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

This “national dialogue seminar” will provide the opportunity to review the new guidelines and policies of GEF and its implementing agencies, and to discuss national strategic priorities.

Much of this time will be spent reviewing the “National Strategic Priorities of GEF Viet Nam,” the Government’s draft Action Plan that pays special attention to assisting national agencies in accessing GEF resources under new GEF guidelines, as well as integrating GEF priorities in national programmes and involving key stakeholders. During the next 4-year GEF period (late 2006-2010), Viet Nam has been allocated $10.2 million for work in biodiversity and $8.5 million for programmes in climate change – in addition, Viet Nam is also eligible for funds to address issues like, land degradation and persistent organic pollutants.

“The Government’s drafting team has attempted to both make the Action Plan fully consistent with national priorities and to ensure it help further align GEF strategies of UN agencies with Government’s priorities,” said UN Resident Coordinator, John Hendra. “As Viet Nam rapidly develops – and as we see in our daily lives - we are all linked through our natural environment and we will need global partnerships like the GEF to ensure that we meet the great challenges before us in the coming decade, including achieving Millennium Development Goal seven of environmental sustainability for both current and future generations here in Viet Nam.”

Since 1991, this global funding mechanism, managed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank, has supported Viet Nam with 50 national and regional projects in biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants, amounting to nearly $50 million. It has had a major impact on Viet Nam’s efforts to preserve and protect its natural heritage.

“These have been very valuable and meaningful funds for Viet Nam especially in the context that Vietnam has faced shortages of resources for environmental protection,” said Dr. Pham Khoi Nguyen, Senior Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and Chairman of the Viet Nam GEF in his opening address. “Through implementation of GEF projects, knowledge, skills and abilities of domestic agencies and national experts have been significantly enhanced and improved. Therefore, we are of the opinion that GEF assistance continues to play an important role in Viet Nam for the short and longer-term future.”

GEF funding helped Viet Nam to establish its first Biodiversity Action Plan and since 1995 nine national parks have received direct support for environmental protection. GEF-funded projects have also resulted in new policies, strategies, action plans, and guidelines on protected area management; greater environmental consciousness in communities; numerous research activities and; a pilot project on biodiversity conservation in marine protected areas was established, and replicated in Nha Trang Bay and Cu Lao Cham.

Contact informationMichael Coleman, Tel: (84-4) 942-1495 x161

or Nguyen Viet Lan, Tel: (84-4) 942-1495 x186