Excellency, Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan, Deputy Minister Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment;

Distinguished guests, partners, colleagues and friends;

A very good morning and xin chào!

I am very pleased to be here at this important Workshop on “Development and Management of Biosphere Reserves in Viet Nam”, marking a crucial milestone of development and enhancement of Biosphere Reserve network in Viet Nam for the past 20 years!

Since 2000, Viet Nam has made tremendous efforts to protect its high biological diversity by the establishment and operations of 173 protected areas covering more than 2,500ha, and 10 marine project areas have been established with the total area of nearly 188,000ha. With the support from Global Environment Facility, recently we have collaborated with MONRE to successfully established two Wetland conservation areas in Thai Binh and Thua Thien Hue.

UNDP is proud to have provided support to the Government of Viet Nam over the past decades in many aspects; including environment, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, and disaster risk management and response to climate change. Particularly, various integrated approaches have been piloted and rolled out to support sustainable management of natural resources.

The establishment and operation of these Biosphere Reserves are currently often governed by legal documents issued by local authorities which, however, tend to vary in different provinces due to the lack of legal framework and management structure at national level for Biosphere Reserve as a system. Consequently, the performance of most biosphere reserves often lacks participatory and cross-sectoral approaches in decision making process

Currently, in close collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, we support the implementation of a five-year project entitled “Mainstreaming Natural Resource Management and Biodiversity Conservation Objectives into Socio-Economic Development Planning and Management of Biosphere Reserve in Viet Nam” which aims at mainstreaming natural resource management and biodiversity conservation objectives into socio-economic development planning and management of Biosphere Reserves in Vietnam.

For better jointly efforts, I would like to call for further immediate actions that promote more collaboration from stakeholders, line ministries, research institutions, academia and research institutes, private sector, non-government organizations, local communities, and individuals for biodiversity conservation.

Ladies and Gentlemen

 The rapid growth of the Viet Nam Biosphere Network over the past 20 years showed a strong interest and commitment from the Government, especially at the provincial level in deploying the biosphere reserve approach for biodiversity conservation and sustainable socio-economic development.

In order to further strengthen the effectiveness of biosphere reserve approach in Viet Nam, I would also like to propose the following recommendations:

  • Firstly: The overriding legal framework and institutional setup for biosphere reserve management and development should be fully considered during the revision processes of the major laws and policies related to environment protection and biodiversity, such as the upcoming revision of Law on Biodiversity.
  • Secondly, it is essential to ensure the meaningful participation of stakeholders from various sectors, organizations and individuals in different functional zones of the biosphere reserve, and
  • Especially, one of those strategies could be to promote robust awareness raising on biosphere reserve approach together with stronger public partnership engagement for greater local stakeholder participation and collaboration that makes biosphere reserve concept work in reality and contribute into achievements of SDGs.

UNDP is committed to continue working with all of you to protect Viet Nam’s rich biodiversity endowment and look forwards to continued successful development and management achievements of Biosphere Reserve Network in coming decades.

I wish you all good health, happiness, and success. / Xin cảm ơn!

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