(Source: Monre.gov.vn)
Hanoi (VNA) - The fifth East Asian Seas Congress, which will take place in Da Nang from November 16 to 21, will offer an opportunity for Vietnam and regional nations to share experience and take initiatives in integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development of the seas.

The event’s host aims to affirm Vietnam’s position, role and contributions to peace in the East Asian region in particular and other parts of the world in general.

In recent years, the sea-based economy has contributed greatly to Vietnam’s development. GDP from maritime and coastal economies accounts for over 50 percent of the country’s total GDP and is on the rise. Growth in coastal economies helps create jobs, promotes poverty reduction, increases social welfare, improves living conditions and ensures social equality for coastal residents in particular and Vietnamese people in general.

However, like many other countries, Vietnam's seas face risks such as pollution, deteriorating ecosystems and aquatic resources, and worsening climate change.

To deal with these situations, since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992, Vietnam has joined and made every effort to implement international commitments on green economy, green growth and sustainable development.

The country also realised its set goals in developing its maritime-based economy; protecting the environment; combating climate change; and restoring biodiversity, sea ecosystems and aquatic resources.

By inserting sea and island management into policies and strategies, Vietnam successfully implemented the Sustainable Development Strategy for the Seas of East Asia.

The Vietnamese Government committed to reaching sustainable development targets in coastal areas by managing seas and islands, including integrated coastal zone management . This helps governments, businesses and organisations achieve social and economic development targets by addressing the governance of human activities affecting the sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems through a set of easily understood processes and supporting tools.

Close links between Vietnam, the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) and other related parties enable the country to expand its integrated coastal zone management programme .

The coastal localities of Nam Dinh, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Kien Giang, Soc Trang and Khanh Hoa are priorities for implementing integrated coastal zone management programmes between 2011 and 2015, along with three localities piloting the programme : Da Nang, Thua Thien-Hue province and Quang Nam province.

The East Asian Seas Congress was organised for the first time in 2003 and has been held every three years since.

It aims to set up a forum for concerned organisations to meet, exchange information, update renewal policies and share their experience, innovation and achievements related to the sustainable development of the East Asian Seas.

During the fifth congress, themed “ Global Target - Local Benefit: Setting an Agenda for Sustainable Development for the Seas of East Asia beyond 2015”, conferences, forums, exhibitions and training conferences about the seas and islands will be held.

Established in 1994, PEMSEA is an intergovernmental organisation operating in the East Asia that aims to foster and sustain healthy and resilient oceans, coasts, communities and economies across the region.-VNA