llustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s biodiversity resources are degrading under the pressure of population growth, overexploitation and economic development, which threatens the stable livelihoods of many communities, experts said at a workshop in Hanoi on May 20.

Addressing the workshop, Mai Thanh Dung, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) said c onserving and using biodiversity sustainably with the aim to create and maintain community livelihoods is of great importance to the country.

Dung noted that Vietnam is ranked 16th in the world in terms of biodiversity and is recognised as one of 10 centres having the most diverse biodiversity in the world.

He said Vietnam had made a strong commitment to conserving biodiversity. The country adopted the Biodiversity Law in 2008 and issued the national strategy on biodiversity by 2020 with a vision to 2030.

Several reports were presented on the preservation of rare and valuable gene sources and the establishment of a network and a database on genes in the country.

Participants were also introduced to the project entitled: “Capacity Building for the Ratification and Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing in Vietnam,” which is funded by the Global Environment facility (GEF).

Issues relating to community-based biodiversity conservation were debated, with participants calling for attention to solutions to develop livelihoods based on traditional knowledge on gene sources.

The seminar was a joint effort of the VEA and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) in response to the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22).

The International Day for Biological Diversity is designated by the United Nations to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity.

This year's day has the theme of "Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods”.-VNA