Monday, September 24, 2018, 15:43 (GMT+7)
Vietnam’s marine reserves

According to international research centres, a marine reserve is a marine area that possesses species of great value and national or international importance to science, education, tourism and entertainment and is managed and protected under its statures. This type of marine area contributes to not only ensuring the balance of marine ecology and biodiversity and regulating the environment, but also developing sustainable marine economy in line with research and ecotourism. At the same time, it serves as the basis and the administrative and legal instrument for the struggle to protect national security and sovereignty in the Exclusive Economic Zone of a coastal state. Perceiving that, many countries around the globe, particularly coastal ones have attached great importance to detecting and developing these reserves.

Ly Son’s marine reserve (photo: VNA)

As far as Vietnam is concerned, in addition to developing natural reserves, our Party and State have paid special attention to marine reserves and considered these as an important factor in the development of species and marine biodiversity as well as economic development and human daily life. According to statistics, Vietnam now has about 120 marine reserves, the total area of which accounts for 6% of its natural territory. These reserves are located in all three regions, namely the North, South and Central, 7% of the reserves’ area was established in the beginning years of the country’s renewal process. In recent years, Vietnam has gained positive results in studying and promoting its marine reserves. Many marine areas have been planned into the areas for protection of seafood resources, such as My Mieu (Quang Ninh), Nha Phu (Khanh Hoa), Mui Ne (Binh Thuan), and Ngoc Hien alluvial ground (Ca Mau). 9 marine reserves have been ranked as the priorities in the system of marine and coastal reserves within the framework of the Project ADB 5712-REG. According to scientists, marine reserves could double the density of marine species, triple the biomass, and make the size of species and biodiversity increase by 20% - 30% in comparison with those not located in the reserves. This is a source of extremely great marine potential for the country’s socio-economic development if we know how to plan, exploit and develop the marine reserves scientifically.

However, due to different causes, due regard has yet to be paid to preserving marine reserves. In many reserves, significance has been attached to only protecting forest on islands instead of marine resources and environment. Some marine areas have even been abused at an alarming rate. Against that backdrop, the Prime Minister issued the Decision 742/QĐ-TTg on approving the Plan for Vietnam’s system of marine reserves until 2020 with targets and important, practical solutions. To that end, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has developed and promulgated legal normative documents to facilitate the establishment of marine reserves. In addition to perfecting the legal basis, consideration has been given to raising public awareness, carrying out marine researches and projects for management of marine reserves, and fostering international cooperation on marine reserve, which has initially achieved good outcomes.

Those outcomes prove the great efforts devoted by the whole Party, people and political system to preserve the “blue” of the sea, facilitate the country’s rapid, sustainable development, and contribute to successfully fulfilling the two strategic tasks of Homeland construction and protection.

Nguyen Van Su

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