Việt Nam is one of the countries with high biodiversity in the world, having many types of natural ecosystems, biological species, rich and endemic genetic resources. Biodiversity in Việt Nam brings direct benefits to people and makes great contributions to the economy, especially in agricultural, forestry and fishery production; is the basis for ensuring national food security; maintains genetic resources for breeding livestock and plants; provides materials to construction and is a source of medicinal herbs, food... In addition, biodiversity is also a source of artistic and cultural inspiration and has been associated with the spiritual life of Vietnamese people for thousands of generations. Therefore, biodiversity is still an important solution, an option for sustainable development.
WE ARE PART OF THE SOLUTION FOR NATURE
Ecosystems play an extremely important role in human life, providing us with extremely valuable benefits such as stabilizing the climate, purifying the air, oxygen, water, food, medicine, etc. In addition, ecosystems are also the habitat of many wildlife species. However, for a long time, the use of natural resources to serve human socioeconomic development activities has made ecosystems around the world degraded. According to the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES Report) developed in 2019, biodiversity is important to humans, providing 18 basic services globally to maintain human activities and development. However, 14 of these 18 contributions of nature are on a global decline. In addition, the rate of forest cover globally has decreased from 31.6% to 30.6% in the period 1990 - 2015. The coral reef ecosystem is assessed as having the highest decline in survival index, which has decreased by 35% between 1970 and 2015. 25% of studied species are threatened with extinction; many species groups are assessed as highly threatened with extinction, in which the group with the highest percentage of species at risk of extinction are amphibians, mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.
Humans are an integral part of nature, a child who is strong but small in front of Mother Nature. Therefore, humans must rely on nature, obey the laws of nature (adherence to nature), live in harmony, be friendly with nature and join hands (with other pieces of nature) to protect nature, environment, also protect ourselves. This year's International Day for Biological Diversity has the theme: "We are part of the solution # For nature", following the theme of the year 2020 "Our solutions are available in nature" in the series of awareness and action to protect nature and environment, towards sustainable development. This message is also in response to the United Nations General Assembly's declaration on the "Decade on ecosystem restoration" for worldwide efforts to prevent and reverse the degradation of ecosystems and enhance awareness of the importance of ecosystems to human life.
In response to this event, on 14th May 2021, the MONRE issued Official Letter No. 2298/BTNMT-TTTMT to the Ministries, departments, agencies and Central mass organizations; People's committees of provinces and centrally run cities; sociopolitical organizations, mass organizations; associations, corporations, businesses and related units interested to direct, guide and coordinate in organizing propaganda activities on theme and messages in response to the International Day for Biological Diversity and the World Environment Day 2021.
Accordingly, the MONRE proposes to implement consistently the strategies, schemes, tasks and solutions on: Researching and applying nature-based solutions, approaching ecosystems in the process of developing master plans at national, regional and provincial levels; Establishing and effectively managing nature reserves; promoting the implementation of conservation and sustainable use models; Applying ecosystem approach in integrated management of coastal zones, river basins, sustainable forest management, focusing on the role and interests of the community. Along with that, strengthen activities to control wildlife trade and exploitation of migratory wild species according to the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 29/CT-TTg dated 23rd July 2020 on a number of urgent solutions for wildlife management; manage and control invasive alien species according to the Prime Minister’s Directive No. 42/CT-TTg dated 8th December 2020 on strengthening the management and control of invasive alien species; restore degraded ecosystems; protect the natural landscape and biodiversity; effectively conserve species and genetic resources. Especially, apply nature-based solutions to mitigate impacts from socio-economic development on ecosystems; promote the development and implementation of economic models for sustainable use of natural resources. At the same time, implement programs, projects and tasks for ecosystem restoration such as: planting trees; collecting garbage on both banks and on the water surface; developing a propaganda plan to properly exploit aquatic species…
Currently, due to the complicated situation of the COVID-19 acute respiratory infection, the MONRE requires local authorities based on the actual situation to organize propaganda in accordance with current regulations on epidemic prevention and control (creation and innovation in implementation methods, forms of communication, application of information technology) in the direction of realizing dual goals, associated with the prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic, having a pervasive effect, strongly influencing the public awareness. It is possible to organize online workshops and talk shows with the following contents: Propaganda and dissemination of the Law on Environmental Protection in 2020; introduction to mod-els and solutions for ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation...; Organize activities suitable to the actual situation (Cleaning up the environment, planting trees, collecting and treating wastes; propagandizing and encouraging the community not to use non-degradable plastic bags and disposable plastic products…); Strengthen control over the waste collection, transportation and treatment; Encourage the hanging of banners, panels and posters made from environmentally friendly materials in public areas, streets and offices; Recognize, praise and reward organizations, individuals and businesses that make effective and practical contributions to the rational use of resources, environmental protection, biodiversity conservation...
Representatives of organizations and individuals were awarded the 5th AEEAs
SOME SOLUTIONS AND ORIENTATIONS TO ACTIVELY ENTER THE “DECADE ON ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION”
Together with the world's efforts to overcome the climate and biodiversity crisis and strengthen food and water security, Việt Nam has actively joined the Government Leaders’ Pledge for Nature: United to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 for Sustainable Development at the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity in 2020 as well as the statement of the United Nations General Assembly on the “Decade on ecosystem restoration” (2021 - 2030). Việt Nam has also been proactively implementing the call of the United Nations General Assembly as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity in restoring ecosystems at various levels.
First, at the global level, Việt Nam is actively contributing comments to the draft Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is drafting and is expected to be approved at Conference of the Parties to the Convention on biological diversity at the end of 2021. In which, focus on priority goals and activities to restore ecosystems.
As the 50th country in the world and the 1st country in the ASEAN region to officially join the Convention on wetlands (Ramsar) since 1989, to date, Việt Nam has carried out many activities on conservation and effective use of wetlands to fulfill its member country responsibilities. Specifically, Việt Nam successfully nominated 9 wetland areas with a total area of 120,549 ha; implemented planning and zoning to establish 47 wetland nature reserves. In the two years 2019 - 2020, Việt Nam has established 2 wetland nature reserves according to the provisions of the Law on Biodiversity. The recognition and conservation of wetlands contributes to attracting international and national attention in conservation and enhances the country's extremely valuable natural tourism resources and humanities in general and Ramsar sites, creating a significant attraction for domestic and foreign tourists, promoting socio-economic development.
Second, at the regional level, Việt Nam actively participates in the process of drafting ASEAN Joint Statement contributing to the draft GBF as well as participates in programs and projects on ecosystem restoration, mitigation of pressure on biodiversity in nature reserves, ASEAN heritage parks.
Third, in the country, many initiatives, programs and projects are being developed and implemented to contribute to the ecosystem restoration. Typically, the project to plant 1 billion trees launched by the Prime Minister in the period 2021 - 2025 to contribute to ecological environment protection, landscape improvement and response to climate change, socio-economic development, improvement of the quality of life of the people and the sustainable development of the country.
In the recent period, MONRE has been assigned by the Government to lead the implementation of the “Greater Mekong Subregion Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project”. Through the Project, biodiversity corridors at the implementation sites have been connected to habitats, ensuring the maintenance and protection of habitats for some target species; enhancing the quality of ecosystems, contributing to maintaining forest cover, promoting the responsibilities of forest owners, especially the community; piloting the integration of biodiversity corridor management contents into existing policies, proposing new mechanisms and policies on biodiversity corridors; improving community livelihoods to increase people's income.
In addition, the Ministry is also developing a Draft National Strategy on Biodiversity to 2030, with a vision to 2050 to submit to the Prime Minister for approval in 2021, setting out objectives, key tasks and strategic solutions to improve and restore ecosystems, protect rare species and genetic resources, and effectively promote the benefits of ecosystem services for sustainable economic and social development. In particular, the issue of ecosystem restoration is being considered as one of the key contents of the coming period. Priority tasks for implementation of this Draft Strategy include: Survey, assessment and identification of degraded ecosystems; Implementation of measures to restore biodiversity and ecosystem services of degraded areas, especially natural heritage sites; Promotion of research and application of science and technology, international cooperation in the restoration and development of natural ecosystems, ensuring the maintenance of natural ecosystem services to sustainably serve human interests.
With the above orientations and solutions, Việt Nam has been active and proactive in implementing the commitment of the United Nations “Decade on ecosystem restoration” (2021 - 2030).
(Source: Vietnam Environment Administration Magazine, English Edition II - 2021)