Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Vietnam has developed and is implementing a considerable number of strategies, policies and programmes that have covered a number of the 2010 targets. These include: Vietnam's National Environmental Protection Strategy to 2010 & Orientations toward 2020; Orientations of Sustainable Development in Vietnam; National Comprehensive Strategy on Growth and Poverty Reduction; Vietnam’s National Action Programme to Combat Desertification; Management Strategy for a Protected Area System in Vietnam to 2010; National Action Plan on Re-enforcing the Control in Wild Animal and Plant Trade in the period 2001-1010; and Five Million Hectare Forestation Programme. A number of important targets include: expansion of the area of nature conservation by 1.5 times; increase forest coverage from 33% to 38% in 2005 and to 43% in 2010; and expand the mangrove forest coverage to 80% of the level of 1990. Vietnam also aims to afforest 40% of its bare land. To control illegal wildlife trade, Vietnam has developed laws and put in place mechanisms for this purpose.
Monitoring and Evaluating Biodiversity Resources: Along with the periodic forest resources monitoring programme presided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the system of national sample plots, most of the biodiversity monitoring activities since 1995 have focused their priority into the aspects of species and habitat diversity. The monitoring and evaluation results of the changing trends of biodiversity show that several rare wildlife species in Vietnam are facing great threats of being extinct. Advanced technologies such as remote sensing, geographical information system (GIS), and auto-trapping camera have initially been applied in the biodiversity monitoring activities and brought encouraging results. The Red Book was compiled in 1993 and 1996 and updated 2003. As the results of field research activities, many new plant and animal species such as Sao La (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) and Giant muntjac (Megamuntiacus vuquangensis) were discovered, contributing to the enrichment of the international scientific knowledge. However, there is no long-term, systematic and comprehensive programme or plan for biodiversity monitoring nationwide. Lack of a monitoring network and poor capacity are some of main constraints. Recorded data are not efficiently managed and shared among concerned agencies.
In-situ conservation: The protected areas nationwide are increasing dramatically in terms of quantity and area. The network of protected areas is initially strengthened and further improved with expanding territory in accordance to the Management Strategy for a Protected Area System in Vietnam to 2010 approved by the Government in 2003. In-situ conservation takes many different forms ranging from species and population conservation to landscape, ecosystem and eco-region conservation. Special importance has initially been attached to the tendency of expanding the spatial conservation by strengthening the natural connections (natural corridors) between conservation areas. Vietnam’s two long-term plans propose concrete actions to ensure financial sustainability for protected areas.
Ex-situ conservation: The system of botanical and zoological gardens has been strengthened and expanded. The botanical gardens are collecting and preserving mainly native species, namely timber trees, medicinal plants, fruit trees and industrial crops. In terms of zoological gardens, the country’s two largest zoos of Thu Le and Thao Cam Vien are breeding numerous rare and endemic animal species, thus promoting research and public awareness. At researching institutions, the genetic banks of livestock, crop plants and microorganisms have been maintained and further developed.
Invasive Alien Species: In Vietnam, invasive alien species (IAS) were not paid significant attention until the mid-1990s, when there was an outbreak of Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) in the Mekong and Red River Deltas. A number of activities have been done to improve awareness about IAS and their danger. So far, there have been two significant reviews of the status of invasive alien species in Vietnam. A series of legislation documents indirectly related to the issue have been introduced, but there is no document directly referring to IAS.
Investment in Biodiversity Conservation The investment in biodiversity conservation has been increasing in terms of total expenditure and financial sources. Among all financial sources for biodiversity conservation, the Official Development Assistance (ODA) constitutes an important proportion of the total investment. On average, 20-30% of total ODA expenditures for environment protection are spent on biodiversity conservation. Through investment projects, conservation activities have been conducted in a comparatively comprehensive way. The objectives of the National Biodiversity Action Plan of Vietnam (1995) have been tackled effectively. Special attention has been given to the improvement of investment mechanisms for conservation initiatives. The newly established Vietnam Environment Protection Fund and the Vietnam Conservation Fund are expected to provide good assistance to biodiversity conservation activities in the whole country. However, non-focal investment and inefficient effects remain one of the biggest challenges in biodiversity protection in Vietnam. The percentage of total fund directly invested in biodiversity conservation and management activities is very small.
Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing
Vietnam has adopted important regulations that relate to access and benefit sharing, such as the Domestic Animal Varieties Ordinance (2004) and the Plant Varieties Ordinance (2004). Vietnam also organized a series of training workshops on access and benefit sharing. In collaboration with some international cooperation agencies and non-governmental environmental organizations, such as GTZ and IUCN, Vietnam has organized a number of awareness workshops on ABS. Vietnam is also working on legislation concerning access to and benefit-sharing of floral genetic resources and proposed it as a chapter in biodiversity law.
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Some small-scale studies were undertaken, such as a project in the northern Vietnamese mountains on indigenous people and knowledge of forest resource management. In addition, a number of institutions in Vietnam have undertaken programmes to guide indigenous communities on how to participate in decision-making processes concerning the use of indigenous knowledge for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Vietnam’s Agenda 21 and the National Strategy for Environmental Protection also encourage women and community participation in conservation issues.