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SOS Rhino : In the News : Ministry to adopt biodiversity plan

Ministry to adopt biodiversity plan



HA NOI - The second phase of the national Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for 2006-15 and the environmental vision for 2020, ensuring harmonious growth of natural resources through the participation of local people in conservation, is expected to be adopted soon by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The second phase follows the earlier BAP for 1995-2005 of the Government, prepared jointly with foreign partners and international wildlife protection organisations, which other than carrying out urgent environmental protection programmes, also laid the legal framework for protecting bio-diversity in the country.

According to the ministry’s statistics, Viet Nam now has about 700 species of flora and fauna under the threat of extinction, with coastal areas experiencing an alarming depletion of marine resources.

Many wildlife species listed in the Red book, including tigers, rhinoceros, reptiles and especially fresh water tortoises, were on the verge of extinction, along with precious fauna like aloe wood and ngoc linh ginseng.

Though protection of bio-diversity was vital for the country as well as for the flora and fauna, reckless exploitation of marine resources and wildlife, destruction of forests, expansion in construction and pollution were seriously threatening the country’s natural resources.

Surveys conducted by the ministry in 19 bio-diversity conservation areas in the Truong Son Range showed that these areas were suffering from illegal hunting and logging, and trading of wild animals for consumption and traditional medicines for north-east Asia.

Quite a few fishing methods employed by the fisheries sector resulted in the mass destruction of many species, with some fishermen known to use dynamites, toxic agents or electric shock for catching fish. These activities seriously endangered marine environment and resources, including 80 per cent of Vietnamese coral reefs.

With the threat of illegal hunting and trading in wildlife increasing, the Vietnamese Government approved a national plan of action controlling wildlife trading till 2010.

From 1994, when Viet Nam ratified the Convention on Bio-diversity, the Government had developed various national strategies and plans for protecting the environment and encouraging the sustainable use of natural resources.

The revised Law on Environmental Protection, passed by the National Assembly late last year, along with the BAP and the proposed Law on Bio-diversity would, -according to the ministry, strengthen the protection of bio-diversity in the country. - VNS

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