Viet Nam Attends Ministerial Forum at East Asian Seas Congress: The Message is Strengthen Partnership to Reduce Confrontation”
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Chu Pham Ngoc Hien delivered a speech at the Ministerial Forum at the East Asian Seas (EAS) Congress held in Changwon City, the Republic of Korea last weekend. Viet Nam’s message on marine resources and environment management to the forum was strengthening partnership to reduce confrontation in the context of complicated developments on the East Sea.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Chu Pham Ngoc Hien
Deputy Minister Chu Pham Ngoc Hien said the Ministerial Forum at the EAS Congress is an important event, a good opportunity for member countries of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) including Viet Nam, to share experiences and results of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia at national level over the past 10 years, as well as to put forward plans to carry out the strategy to 2015.
This forum is also an opportunity to review and unify the main contents approved at the first, second and third EAS congresses which will serve as the basis for regional cooperation in administrating and controlling the shores and oceans.
This forum will continue to adopt the Changwon Declaration “Building a Blue Economy together with boosting the implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia”. This is a new chance to promote intergovernmental partnerships in the East Asian sea region in the future.
At this year’s congress, after nearly ten years of implementation, what did Viet Nam’s contribution to share with the other countries in the areas?
The Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia is a framework that needs to be integrated with other national programmes and projects that share its purpose. Based on actual demand, in the past, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and relevant ministries and sectors have submitted to the Prime Minister for approval and implementation a series of activities relating to sustainable development on Viet Nam’s sea, including orientations for sustainable development for Viet Nam (2004), a Plan on survey and management of marine environment-resources by 2010 and vision to 2020 (2006), a programme to manage the Northern Central and Central coastal regions by 2010 and orientations to 2020 (2007), a national target programme on climate change adaptation (2008), a programme on marine science and technology to serve socio-economic development and sustainable development for 2006-2010 and 2011-2015 terms, a project on marine international cooperation to 2020 (2008), a plan for Viet Nam’s system of marine reserves to 2020 (2010) with 16 marine reserves representing marine biological regions.
In terms of institution, the Government assigned the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to be responsible for general State management of sea and islands. At central level, the Viet Nam Administration for Seas and Islands was established, while at local level, Departments and Offices for sea and island management were also established in 28 coastal cities and provinces.
Legal and policy systems for marine management for each sector were also checked and strengthened. The National Assembly recently approved the Law on the Viet Nam’s Seas while the Law on Marine Resources and Environment is in the process of drafting to be submitted to the NA.
In addition, Viet Nam attaches importance to participating in regional and international institutions relating to sustainable development of the East Asian seas which are the PEMSEA, the Coordinating body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), the Global Ocean Forum (GOF), institutions on the seas of ASEAN region like the Sub-committee on Marine Science and Technology (SCMSAT), the ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commissions of UNESCO and of the Western Pacific (IOC UNESCO and IOC Asia-WESPAC); programmes and projects on the East Sea, the Mangrove Forest for the Future (MFF), the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA).
Viet Nam also actively participates in about 20 international conventions on marine sustainable development and management.
Another result is that 20 out of 28 coastal provinces have applied the method of general management on seashore at different levels, as well as having gradually applied the tools for marine planning to marine administration.
Which opinions did Viet Nam raise at this forum to implement the plan of sustainable development of the East Asian seas for the future?
- In future, Viet Nam will continue to commit itself to boosting regional partnerships and implementing more effectively the plan of sustainable development of Viet Nam’s seas to 2015, together with implementing the agreements signed at the global summit on sustainable development (Rio+20).
Viet Nam also wants other countries in the region to strengthen partnerships and reduce confrontation for the common interest of the East Asian seas and each country.
At this forum, Viet Nam expressed full support for the Changwon Declaration on building a blue economy together with accelerating the implementation of the sustainable development strategy for the seas of East Asia.
The country also wants to continue receiving valuable assistance from international organisations and friends, especially PEMSEA, in implementing the sustainable development strategy for the seas of East Asia in Viet Nam./.