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Implementation of the National Strategy on Biodiversity to 2020, vision to 2030


   The national strategy on biodiversity to 2020, vision to 2030 has been approved by the Prime Minister at Decision 1250/QD-TTg dated 31/7/2013 with the objectives of conservation and sustainable use of important natural ecosystems, rare and precious species and genetic resources, contribution to the country development towards green economy, and proactive response to climate change. The development of the national strategy on biodiversity plays a very important role in the context of degrading biodiversity in Việt Nam and of a changing world, at the same time supports Việt Nam to implement national commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Bàu Sấu wetland has high biodiversity in Việt Nam

   Implementation of the Strategy during 2013 - 2016

   After three years of implementation of the strategy, the biodiversity conservation initially achieved key results. By October 2016, 43/63 provinces and cities approved the biodiversity conservation planning; 166/176 special use forests were established with an area of 2,106,051 ha, accounting for 6.36% territory land; the forest cover rate was 40.84% (by 31/12/2015); 10/16 marine protected areas were established, with an area of 111,211 ha, making up 0.11% marine area nationwide (by June 2016), of which six marine protected areas have officially operated. Particularly, there are 8 Ramsar sites, nine world biosphere reserve sites, two world natural heritage sites and five ASEAN heritage parks (by June 2016).

   To enhance species and genetic resources conservation, the Government has promulgated Decree 160/2013/ND-CP on species identification criteria and species management mechanism for species in the List of rare, precious, prioritised for protection species, of which 17 flora species, 83 fauna species, 15 crop species and six animal husbandry species are prioritised for protection; Decision 1671/2015/QD-TTg approving the Programme for genetic resources conservation and sustainable use to 2025, vision to 2030; Decision 1141/QD-TTg approving the Scheme on capacity building on fair and equitable access and sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources 2016 - 2025.

   The strategy tasks have been implemented at central and local levels in all fields: conservation of natural ecosystems; conservation of wildlife and rare, precious and endangered animals and crops; sustainable use and implementation of access and benefit sharing from ecosystem and biodiversity services; controlling of activities that cause adverse impacts on biodiversity; biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change.

   In addition to achievements, the implementation of strategies also expresses some shortcomings, such as the state management assignment and distribution on biodiversity is not clear; the state management bodies on biodiversity is scattered and non-comprehensive; the collaboration between ministries, sectors at central and local levels on biodiversity conservation is ineffective; the regulation on biodiversity conservation is not adequately implemented; the legal enforcement is limited due to resource shortage; the administrative violation penalty mechanism is not strictly enforced, and the regulation for criminal prosecution is not yet available.

   Resources for biodiversity conservation are limited, quantitatively and qualitatively short, particularly staff at district and commune levels; the financial resources mostly rely on state budget (around 60 - 80%); the international resources rely on official development assistance (ODA) for short-term projects; therefore, it is difficult to implement conservation commitments in the long-term and the implementation is normally unevenly distributed; specific policies to mobilise legal contribution from organisations and individuals for biodiversity conservation in Việt Nam are not available.

   Information and database on biodiversity is scattered at many state management and research agencies; quality of information system and database on biodiversity is not synchronous, therefore restricting information sharing and usage.

   Biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change has been initially paid attention to, but policies for biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change are limited, particularly ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change, integration of climate change response to socio-economic development policies and strategies (such as poverty reduction, enhanced food security, sustainable livelihoods development) in high biodiversity areas and areas that are heavily affected by climate change, integration of biodiversity conservation in the National strategy on climate change.

   Enhancing biodiversity conservation and sustainable use

   To enhance the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and successful implementation of targets, tasks, priority projects of the Strategy in the upcoming time (2017 - 2020) it is necessary to solve following issues:

   Strengthening institutions and state management system on biodiversity in order to manage in a synchronous, effective and comprehensive manner. At the central level, it is necessary to clarify roles, consolidate functions and mandates of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as a focal agency to ensure the overall state management on conservation and development of biodiversity nationwide as regulated in the Law on Biodiversity. At the same time, it is necessary to clarify the roles, functions and tasks of other ministries and sectors as sectoral agencies on state management on biodiversity. It is necessary to identify the leading and coordinating mechanisms among ministries and sectors in development and promulgation of policies in order to avoid duplication and overlapping among policies (promulgated under different laws) on biodiversity (protected areas, species and genetic resources sites). At local levels, it is necessary to strengthen the state management bodies at provincial level, to promote the establishment of a specific agency on biodiversity conservation (within the Sub-department of environmental protection) to assign one staff with appropriate profession and qualification on biodiversity conservation, initially at provinces and cities that have national parks and protected areas within their management territory.

   Finalising legislations and policies on biodiversity conservation: The Law on Biodiversity is a new advanced step to systemize biodiversity conservation. However, some regulations in the Law on Biodiversity (2008) and the Law on Forest Protection and Development (2004) Law on Fishery (2003) have not been clearly defined, leading to overlapping and difficulties during the implementation. Therefore, it is necessary to review and revise these above laws; regulations on biodiversity in the Law on Forest Protection and Development, Law on Fishery must be appropriate and synchronous with regulations in the Law on Biodiversity; in some cases, some regulations of the Law on Biodiversity are inappropriate then should be revised to be appropriate and synchronous.

   Enhancing legal enforcement in biodiversity: paying attention, strictly and fully implementing regulations and legislations on nature and biodiversity conservation in development planning; reviewing and approving the investment policy of projects that have adverse impacts on biodiversity, of which particularly focusing on integrating biodiversity into strategic environmental assessment, environmental impact assessment; reviewing, revising, and improving the legal framework on management and protection of wildlife to ensure the feasibility, unification and synchronisation; enhancing and finalising the collaboration mechanism among different forces, particularly public security, customs, forest rangers, marine police, border army, air security, Việt Nam CITES Agency, Interpol… to exchange, share and collaborate to address information and to provide legal support on criminal investigations against criminals on illegal trading and transport of wildlife and their products; capacity building for legislation enforcement agencies to control illegal consumption of wildlife; continuing to strengthen the prorogation, enhancing awareness and responsibilities of sectors and staff on biodiversity management.

   Resources development for biodiversity conservation: enhancing training for key staff on biodiversity conservation from central to local levels; distributing stable and regular budget for state management on biodiversity at central and local levels; developing investment policies and long-term finance of the State for conservation and sustainable development of biodiversity for the period 2015 - 2020 or 2015 - 2025; diversifying financial sources; promoting research and application of new financial mechanisms to support conservation (carbon finance, payment for biodiversity related services, biodiversity trade-off, genetic resources access and sharing) developing domestic financial mobilization mechanism (from enterprises, communities, individuals…) based on economic incentives (tax, fee reduction…) promoting public private cooperation in biodiversity conservation.

   Strengthening information and database on biodiversity: Establish and apply a system on reporting, information sharing and database on biodiversity at all levels (national, provincial, protected area) and gradually integrate biodiversity information into the national statistics system.

   Developing policies and investing resources to implement policies on biodiversity conservation in the context of climate change (climate change ecosystem-based adaptation) integration of response to climate change into socio-economic development policies and strategies (poverty reduction, enhanced food security, sustainable livelihood development) at geographical regions with high biodiversity and under substantial impacts from climate change, integration of biodiversity conservation into the national strategy on climate change.

Phạm Anh Cường, Nguyễn Thành Vĩnh 
Nguyễn Đặng Thu Cúc, Phạm Hạnh Nguyên

Biodiversity conservation agency

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