Finding sustainable solutions to live with nature

December 28, 2022 | 10:38
(0) user say
The Biosphere Reserves Project was reviewed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on December 26 to look for sustainable solutions.
Finding sustainable solutions for humans to live in a harmonious relationship with nature
Finding sustainable solutions to live in a harmonious relationship with nature

The Biosphere Reserves (BR) project is funded by the Global Environment Fund through the UNDP in Vietnam and implemented by MoNRE and the Biosphere Reserve Management Board in such areas as Dong Nai, Cu Lao Cham-Hoi An, and West Nghe An.

With the second-highest number of BRs in Southeast Asia, Vietnam has strived to foster a balanced relationship between humans and nature. Effective Biosphere Reserves management is paramount to addressing the existential challenges and ensuring the longevity of a human-shared existence with the environment.

The Global Biodiversity Framework was adopted at COP15 with ambitious targets for living in harmony with nature by 2050. UNDP resident representative Ramla Al Khalidi said that these commitments brought hope for a better future in global biodiversity but, at the same time, placed even more pressure on people's shoulders to redefine the current and future work on biodiversity conservation.

"As we reach the halfway mark for the project, now is the time to review progress, draw lessons, and put forward more rigorous, timely, and cost-effective measures to deliver the remaining project targets over the next two years," said Al Khalidi.

2022 is the third year since the project came into operation. The midterm review organised early this year provided several recommendations including the revision of the project results framework to improve the clarity and appropriateness of the project's targets, the acceleration of the VAT refund process, and the approval of the project's annual work plan to facilitate timely implementation.

She said that going forward, she would like to ask the MoNRE to take timely action for periodic VAT refunds to avoid the late payments that have been common in the past. Another area that requires renewed effort and attention is the level of delivery where project disbursement has not met the target.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan appreciated the efforts of the Project Management Board of the UNDP for coordinating and integrating the planning process and implementing the project's activities in 2022.

"2023 is a pivotal year for the project to achieve its objectives so I ask all of us to redouble our efforts to ensure the progress and quality of the activities in 2023,” said Nhan. "Indigenous and local communities are often the best guardians of the forests and natural ecosystems which successive generations call home. At the same time, local communities often face the disproportionate impacts of biodiversity loss given the interdependence that underpins their lives and their livelihoods. Therefore, ensuring indigenous people’s voices are heard in the debate on biodiversity conservation will help preserve traditional knowledge and reduce environmental pressure."

At the meeting, experts discussed improving legal and institutional infrastructure and cross-sectoral action on the ground to enable the enhanced management of BRs.

The BR project has contributed to the improved legal framework of BR management by integrating relevant content into the 2020 Law on Environment Protection. These are important first steps in operationalising the BR management in Vietnam.

In addition, many guidelines have been developed to better mainstream biodiversity conservation into provincial and sectoral documents. It is important that the project outputs are high quality and relevant, and have a strategic course for dissemination to maximise the impact and visibility of the project.

Takeda Vietnam and Gaia plant over 500 trees in Can Gio Biosphere Reserve Takeda Vietnam and Gaia plant over 500 trees in Can Gio Biosphere Reserve

Takeda Vietnam is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the planet through the planting of more than 500 trees in Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, located about 50km from Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam celebrates first International Day for Biosphere Reserves Vietnam celebrates first International Day for Biosphere Reserves

The General Assembly of UNESCO chose November 3 as the International Day of Biosphere Reserves to promote nature conservation and sustainable development globally.

By Nguyen Huong

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional