Vietnam, Germany Cooperate to Strengthen Biodiversity Conservation
Germany will continue cooperation with Vietnam in biodiversity conservation while recognizing the nexus with global challenges such as climate change, said Helene Paust, first counselor and deputy head of Development Cooperation of the German Embassy.
|Helene Paust, first counselor and deputy head of Development Cooperation of the German Embassy. ©GIZ/Binh Dang
After four years of implementation, the “Programme on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Forest Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Vietnam, Phase II, 2018-201” held its closing workshop on Dec. 22.
Tran Quang Bao, deputy director general, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), and Helene Paust, first secretary and deputy head of development cooperation at the German Embassy, were co-chairs of the workshop. Regina Ecker, country director, GIZ Vietnam – Laos attended the workshop.
Over 100 participants attended the event both on site and online, including representatives of government agencies from national and local levels, protected area management boards, research institutes, international development partners, and society organisations.
The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and jointly implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The project has contributed to strengthening biodiversity conservation both at the policy level and on the ground in protected areas, where its aim is to ensure local communities benefit from the sustainable management of forests and the natural resources they produce.
|An aerial view of Than Sa - Phuong Hoang Nature Reserve in Thai Nguyen Province of Vietnam. Photo: GIZ/Binh Dang
Vietnam and Germany are building on over 45 years of fruitful cooperation. With the project coming to an end, both countries are looking to the future. “I hope we can continue our cooperation in the area of natural resources management and biodiversity conservation, for the benefit of nature and for the well-being of the people. Vietnam has proposed a focus on a mix of forest and aquatic ecosystems. We are looking forward to working with our Vietnamese partners to develop this idea further,” said Helene.
She noted that the proposed working fields include conservation, sustainable financing, and development of mixed eco-systems in special-use forests and protection forests in Vietnam; models for sustainable tourism development and biodiversity conservation in mixed ecosystems (marine/terrestrial) and for sustainable use of forest ecosystems; and restoration of natural ecosystems of special-use forests and protection forests to improve the resilience of forest ecosystems in the context of climate change.
She said only a month ago, the global community met in Glasgow for the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). Vietnam as one of the countries most affected by the impacts of climate change and forest ecosystems are key to effective adaptation of nature and people to the impacts of climate change.
"Recognizing the important role of biodiversity-rich forests for carbon sequestration and storage, Vietnam and Germany are among the signatories of the “Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use” and committed to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030,” Helene Paust stressed.
|Tran Quang Bao, deputy director general of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). ©GIZ/Binh Dang
Tran Quang Bao, VNFOREST deputy director general applauded the achievements of the Vietnam - German cooperation project, which is jointly implemented by the GIZ and the ministry, during the period of 2018-2021 - the project’s second phase.
Bao highlighted that the project has contributed to enhancing biodiversity conservation both at the policy level and on the ground in protected areas, where it is intended to ensure local communities benefit from the sustainable management of forests and the natural resources.
“Specifically, the project has supported formulating the Forestry Law as well as documents guiding the enforcement of laws related to special-use forests and protection forests,” said the deputy director-general.
He added that special-use and protection forests cover an area of more than 6.8 million hectares, around 46.7% of Vietnam’s total forest area. The preservation of these forests has, now more than ever, become a matter of preserving the livelihoods of the millions of people who live in and around them.
Wrapping up the closing workshop, Anja Barth, GIZ chief technical advisor, noted that the project has demonstrated successful approaches for the sustainable management and financing of protected forests at the national level and at four pilot sites: Cat Tien National Park, Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park, Than Sa- Phuong Hoang Nature Reserve, and Tram Tau Protection Forest. These experiences are available for others to learn from and improve upon.
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