Biodiversity conservation for sustainable development

Over many years, biodiversity has become a global problem, with millions of plant and animal species facing the risk of extinction due to human impacts.

The red-shanked doucs (Pygathrix nemaeus) in Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang City. (Photo: NDO)
The red-shanked doucs (Pygathrix nemaeus) in Son Tra Peninsula in Da Nang City. (Photo: NDO)

According to the report of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), there are five main causes for biodiversity loss from humanity: the change of land use demands; the overexploitation of wild animals and plants; climate change; environmental pollution; and invasive alien species. Meanwhile, the globalisation process has increased the movement of species beyond their natural bio-geographical barriers through tourism and trade activities, disrupting the indigenous ecosystems and living environments of creatures.

Vietnam is one of 12 centres for biodiversity in the world, with a rich and diverse range of rare and precious gene sources. With the goal of conserving and sustainably developing the natural resources for socio-economic development strategies and environmental protection, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has focused on building and completing the legal system on biodiversity and launched a biodiversity conservation plan around the country. So far, 173 conservation areas have been formed, including 33 national parks, 66 nature reserves, 18 species/habitat conservation areas, and 18 landscape protected areas. The county also has nine wetland areas recognised as Ramsar sites of the world; meanwhile 23 provinces nationwide have approved the provincial and municipal biodiversity conservation plans.

However, like many other countries in the world, Vietnam is facing a rapid decline and degradation of biodiversity. The identified reason is that the pressure of population growth has led to high demand for natural resource consumption. In addition, rapid urbanisation, underdeveloped status, change of land use practices, and the building of many infrastructures have significantly reduced the area of ​​natural habitat, increasing the division of ecological systems and the decline of living environments for many wide animals and plants. The more complicated wildlife exploitation, trade and consumption has caused a great threat to biodiversity, affecting Vietnam’s image in the international arena.

In response to World Environment Day (June 5), themed “Action for Nature”, and “The Action Month for Environment” in 2020, the ministries, agencies, provincial and municipal People’s Committees, and political and social organisations have boosted propaganda and mobilised people to carry out measures and actions to restore degraded ecosystems and adapt to climate change as well as enhance food security and water resource protection. The localities have continued to invest funds and strengthen the socialisation for natural and biodiversity protection; established and effectively managed nature reserves; restored degraded ecosystems; conserved endangered and precious species and gene resources; controlled illegal wildlife hunting, trade and consumption; managed alien organisms; and enhanced the development and implementation of economic models that use natural resources sustainably.

It is also crucial to strengthen the control of collection, transportation and treatment of waste; focus on thoroughly solving the issue of environmental pollution due to waste that is directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of people; and encourage the construction of environmental protection projects to serve the community’s interests. The relevant agencies should pay strong attention to raising public awareness of not hunting for rare or endangered animals as well as not exploiting and exhausting natural resources. The organisations, individuals and enterprises that have made effective contributions to the rational use of natural resources, environmental protection, biodiversity conservation, sustainable production and consumption and climate change adaptation in localities should be promptly detected and praised. The abovementioned practical and specific measures will contribute to improving the efficiency of biodiversity conservation towards sustainable development of the country and the world.