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November 16, 2018, 12:14 pm

Workshop: VALUING, ASSESSING AND INTEGRATING ECOSYSTEM SERVICES INTO DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

(19:55:15 PM 12/07/2016)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - Ha Noi, 12 July 2016 - An ecosystem service assessment and valuation tool - ValuES - was introduced to national and provincial planners and decision makers at a worskhop in Ha Noi today.

Workshop, VALUING, ASSESSING , INTEGRATING, ECOSYSTEM, SERVICES, INTO ,DEVELOPMENT, PLANNING



Ecosystem services are nature's benefits to people. ValuES has been considered as a useful tool to calculate visible and invisible benefits of ecosystem as well as visualize consequent of ESs loss and degradation. The tool provides decision makers and planners with better information on the values of biodiversity and different types of ecosystem services.

However, the tools has not been widely introduced and applied for development planning, at national and local level. Practical guideline for application and implementation has not been available in Vietnamese either.

Until now, the value of ecosystem services was invisible in planning and investment decisions. Nature’s services were often considered as “free of charge” or “public goods”. Valuation of ecosystem service supports the recognition and assessment process, and capture of economic value of the ecosystems, where appropriate. As a result, valuation of ecosystem service contribute to understanding of the socio-economic implication of ecosystem use. Economic valuation also helps determine appropriate rewards for the local people, who are protecting ecosystems. 

 Addressing the workshop Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen The Chinh, General Director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), emphasized the need to ensure that the ES concerns are mainstreamed into planning processes. “It is now the time for policy makers to consider how they may apply global and regional lessons learned on ecosystem valuation at the national level,” he said.

Mr Nguyen The Chinh were echoed representatives from the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). “Ecosystems provide essential services to people’s lives and livelihoods, especially for local communities,” said Mr Dao Xuan Lai, Head of UNDP Sustainable Development Cluster. “There has been limited appreciation and integration of the economic values of ecosystem services into development planning, budgeting, and decision making processes. Valuation of ecosystem services is essential to enhance the understanding and trigger local actions on preservation and restoration of ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems provide high profits in terms of public health and public savings and achievement of broad objectives of overcoming poverty and achieving sustainable development goals”.

“Ecosystems contribute directly to the national economy through the services they provide: Mangroves, for example, provide spawning grounds for fish and protect coasts from flooding; forests control the erosion of soils and regulate river flows for agriculture and energy production,” Michael Wahl, Chief Technical Advisor of the project Strategic Mainstreaming of Ecosystem-based
Adaptation in Vietnam (EbA) noted. “Valuing these services and integrating them into planning and investment decisions is essential to ensure long-term economic growth. In the context of the implementation of Viet Nam’s Green Growth Strategy, GIZ continues to support Ministries to better integrate ecosystem services into policies”.
 
At the workshop, which brings together nearly 100 participants from national and local Government agencies, national research institutes and universities, the concept and practical case study in Viet Nam and other countries were presented and proven that ValuES is a powerful tool for decision makers on environmental conservation and development planning.    

The workshop was organized by ISPONRE under the framework of the project “Enhancing Capacity for Implementing Three Rio Conventions”, which is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the UNDP, in collaboration with the GIZ “Forest Biodiversity Programme” and “Global ValuES Project” commissioned by the German ministries responsible for economic cooperation (BMZ) and environment (BMUB), and “Viet Nam Forests and Deltas Program” of Winrock International funded by USAID.
 
On this occasion, a 3-day Training Of Trainers course was also organized for practitioners, who will carry out the valuation of ecosystem service in practice once national and local Government decide to mainstream the tool in their decision making process. 
 

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