Marine sanctuaries and the sustainable development of sea and island resources were high on the agenda at the Vietnam Marine Trademark Forum in the central province of Ha Tinh on June 7, as part of activities to mark Vietnam Sea and Island Week 2013.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Chu Pham Ngoc Hien said the forum is designed to build and develop Vietnam’s maritime trademark in general, and trademarks for localities and marine sanctuaries for socio-economic development.

Participating experts and scientists also looked at lessons and opportunities to successfully realise the Vietnam Marine Strategy, and how to tap the country’s marine potential to serve economic and tourism development.

They also called for practical solutions to over-exploitation and environmental pollution while the marine ecosystem is on the decline, especially in coastal areas.

The event also helped raise public awareness of the role and importance of seas in national construction and defence as well as the value of Vietnam ’s islands and archipelagos.

Vietnam has a 3,260km coastline with more than 3,000 islands and Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, home to diverse and abundant fauna and flora.

Mangrove forests span the Mekong Delta estuaries and Ca Mau peninsula. The central region’s waters are also alive with coral reefs.

On the afternoon of the same day, the fourth Vietnam Marine Economy Forum also took place in the province.-VNA