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Vietnam boosts ocean training 11:12 AM,11/24/2015

Viet Nam has implemented Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) solutions in ocean governance since the country joined the Partnership in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) in 2003, said Deputy Minister of Viet Nam Natural Resources and Environment Chu Pham Ngoc Hien.

Hien spoke on the second day of the fifth East Asian Seas Congress.

"Human training and education courses on coastal environment protection were made at 17 coastal provinces and cities in Viet Nam," he said. "The Government approved a strategy on ICM to be implemented by 2020, with a vision to 2030, with 24 coastal areas and cities building up strategies on ICM."

Some industries or locals still focused on their own benefit, rather than taking care of other trades or locals while managing and using marine resources, he said.

International conventions that can be used for the development of governance of coastal and ocean areas must be based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Participants at the session agreed that the country needed to build a mechanism that involved responsibilities among nations in the East Sea, along with organisations, industries and locals involved in ocean governance.

According to Do Manh Thang from Da Nang's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, ICM solutions have seen the most favourable results so far when it comes to sustainable development.

"We have seen beaches overloaded with rubbish for the past decades when fishermen were not aware of environmental protection," Thang said. "Businesses discharged untreated sewage into the sea, and spoilt the environment and tourism industry."

He said a managing board was set up when the city began to use ICM solutions in early 2000. Managers of agencies and departments in the city have participated.

"The coastal environment improved, as all problems were quickly solved by the managers, who worked for the city's ‘green' growth," he said.

The city was selected as an APEC city for a Low-Carbon Model Town Project in 2012, with 12,000 tonnes of carbon emissions cut through a pilot project between 2008 and 2012.

In the past six years, 80 per cent of over 104ha of coral reefs in water off the Son Tra Peninsula were found degrading or in horrible conditions, but 28ha has recovered.

The Government will spend VND1 trillion (US$44 million) to replant 60,000ha of coastal forest in 19 coastal provinces and cities in 2020, increasing inshore forest coverage to 20 per cent.

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