The fourth forum on natural resources and cultural preservation, towards the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta, took place in the southern province of Dong Thap on May 21.

Organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the event took the theme, “Proper usage of wetlands in the Mekong Delta”.

Participants reviewed Vietnam ’s implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and discussed opportunities and challenges facing wetlands in the region.

They also shared experience in preserving and developing a number of Ramsar sites in a sustainable manner, discussed the potential of Lang Sen wetlands and Mui Ca Mau and U Minh Thuong national parks to become Ramsar sites and proposed criteria and roadmaps for registering more Ramsar sites in the region from now until 2015.

At the event, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Van Duc called for more educational campaigns in an effort towards preserving biodiversity, in combination with poverty reduction and coping with climate change.

He also asked relevant agencies to zone wetlands of global and national significance for Ramsar site recognition in the future, increase international cooperation in the environmental field and effectively use global financial assistance for the field.

Biodiversity preservation status applies to 2.7 percent of Mekong Delta wetlands, while the remainder is utilised for socio-economic development.-VNA