A workshop on advancing the national capacity of peatland management and sustainable use was held in Hanoi on August 16 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The event was within the framework of the ASEAN Secretariat-run project “Rehabilitation and Sustainable Use of Peatlands in Southeast Asia” (or Peatlands Project).

Experts and scientists also discussed and submitted proposals to a draft of the national action plan on peatland management.

They tabled issues concerning the situation of Vietnam’s peatlands, the change of peatland ecosystems and biodiversity, values and functions of those in U Minh region, which includes U Minh Thuong and U Minh Ha forests in the Mekong Delta provinces of Ca Mau and Kien Giang.

Peatlands in Southeast Asia account for 60 percent of all tropical peatland. In Vietnam, two thirds of its 36,000 hectares of peatland are concentrated in the Mekong Delta region.

They are of importance due to their wood resources, diverse flora ecosystems and control of the global climate. Peatlands in ASEAN countries store about five percent of all carbon on the earth’s surface.

The Peatlands Project is supported by the Global Environment Fund through the International Fund on Agricultural Development. Its members are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam with technical assistance from Singapore and Brunei.-VNA