Seas and islands are becoming increasingly important to each nation and territory, said MoNRE Deputy Minister Tran Quy Kien (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A seminar was held in Hanoi on November 22 to look into marine spatial planning and a project on improving the human habitat and coastal ecosystems in the Mekong Delta.

The event was held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

MoNRE Deputy Minister Tran Quy Kien said in the 21st century – the century of oceans, seas and islands are becoming increasingly important to each nation and territory. Coastal countries have been stretching their reach to the seas to tap into marine resources.

Vietnam’s seas triple its mainland area and account for 29 percent of the East Sea’s area. The country has a coastline of over 3,200km long and about 2,700 inshore islands which are the basis for developing the sea-based economy and safeguarding marine defence and security.

The Mekong Delta, comprised of 13 provincial-level localities, covers around 40,000 square kilometres of land and has a population of 18 million, equivalent to 12 percent and 22 percent of Vietnam’s respective figures. Its almost-600km-long coastline borders the East Sea and the West Sea, or the Gulf of Thailand.

Kien admitted that marine economic activities haven’t been harmoniously associated with social development and environmental protection. Sea-related advantages and potential have yet to be fully optimised. Notably, the connectivity between coastal and inland areas, and between sea-related sectors and other sectors remain lax and ineffective.

He pointed out the serious marine pollution, including plastic pollution, in many places, the degradation of marine ecosystems, the overexploitation of some marine resources, and certain shortcomings in the current climate change response.

The 8th meeting of the 12th Party Central Committee last October issued a resolution on the strategy for sustainably developing Vietnam’s marine economy until 2030. One of the main solutions to realise it is perfecting regulations, policies, strategies and plans on the sustainable development of the marine economy.

Kien said the MoNRE is actively working on the marine spatial planning and a master plan on the sustainable exploitation and use of coastal resources. -VNA