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September 21, 2021, 1:17 am

Biodiversity management all in a muddle

(15:01:30 PM 18/12/2013)
( - There are three outstanding problems in biodiversity management in Vietnam – the legal framework, budget for biodiversity conversation and the wildlife trafficking.

Overlapping management mechanism


The participants at the workshop discussing the major issues in the biodiversity conservation held on December 13 all agreed that the current biodiversity management mechanism is “tangled like bamboo shavings.”


The provisions about biodiversity conversation can be found in the Biodiversity Law, the Forest Protection and Development Law, Fisheries Law and the Environment Protection Law. Meanwhile, there is no clear demarcation about the functions, rights and duties allocated to relevant agencies, which has led to a lot of problems in the law enforcement.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) takes the responsibility of managing forests, sea, inland waterways, wetlands, while the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) acts as the state management agency for biodiversity. Meanwhile, biodiversity relates to many areas, from the forests, sea, wetlands to rivers.


MARD and MONRE are the two most important management agencies responsible for biodiversity. However, the two can never cooperate well to fulfill their tasks.


MONRE recently has built up the national biodiversity strategy which includes the provisions on the sanctuary protection. Meanwhile, MARD is now compiling a strategy on sanctuary, special use forest and marine protected area (MPA) management.


MONRE was the agency that compiled the Decree No. 160 on the criteria for species definition and the management mechanism over the endangered rare and precious species. Meanwhile, MARD is drafting the amendment of the Decree 32 on endangered rare and precious species.


Dr. Dang Ngoc Dinh from the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) believes the major problem lies in the legal framework. The Biodiversity Law stipulates that MONRE builds up the national biodiversity programming. However, the Forest Protection and Development Law stipulates that MARD takes the responsibility for programming the MPAs.


Biodiversity protection relies on state budget


According to Hoang Thanh Nhan, Deputy Head of the Biodiversity Conversation Agency, the money for biodiversity conversation projects comes from the state budget and the international aid. With the limited financial capability, a lot of problems still cannot be settled.


According to Nguyen Sy Ha from GIZ, a German international cooperation, state budget provides 34 percent of the total money spent on the biodiversity conversation. The other investments by the State account for 34 percent, including the 22 percent for Program 661. Meanwhile, irregular investments just account for 9 percent, while sanctuaries themselves can create one percent of the total budget only.


Professor Tran Dinh Long, Chair of the Vietnam Seed Association, pointed out that Vietnam has made a big mistake when spending too much state’s money on the biodiversity conservation, while it should call for capital from the community, enterprises, organizations and individuals.


Long stressed that it is feasible to mobilize capital from the other sources, if the State can show that the sources can get benefit from their works to conserve genetic sources.


Agreeing with Long, Vu Van Dung, a former of the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute, said that Vietnam’s state investment in biodiversity is higher than that in Thailand, Slovakia and Belarus, the countries with better economic conditions.


Van Hien

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