Vietnamese and foreign biologists sat down together in Hanoi on December 4 to reinforce the policies and enhance capacity in managing invasive alien species (IAS), as well as raising public awareness about the problem.

The meeting was part of the project on managing invasive species in selected forest ecosystems of Southeast Asia co-organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The project covers the 2012-2015 period in Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) Nguyen The Dong said the project aims to strengthen the legal framework and national policy and improve the capacity of local officials in managing IAS.

It also aims to raise the public awareness in the fields via educational activities and carry out a typical IAS extermination model.

Statistics from the Biodiversity Conservation Agency under VEA show that there are nearly 94 types of IAS, including 42 flora species and 48 aquatic ones.

Many aquatic IAS have been imported to Vietnam in large quantities without strict control, thus causing serious damage to the country’s ecosystem.-VNA