Vietnam will improve the quality and expand the area of protected natural reserves by 2020 as set in the National Strategy on Biodiversity, which was introduced at a workshop in Hanoi on September 24.

The function, organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, was also to receive opinions to the draft master plan on biodiversity preservation until 2020 with a vision to 2030.

Accordingly, the area of natural reserves on land will account for 9 percent of the territory while marine reserves will covers 0.24 percent of the sea by 2020.

During this time, the strategy targets forest coverage of 45 percent and 0.57 million hectares of primeval forests. Meanwhile, the area of mangrove forests will be maintained at the current level, and 15 percent of the degraded important natural ecosystem area rehabilitated.

Under this strategy, Vietnam will house 10 Ramsar sites, 10 biosphere reserves and 10 ASEAN heritage parks by 2020.

By 2030, it will recover 25 percent of the area of degraded natural ecosystems, preserve and sustainably use its biodiversity to benefit people and the national socio-economic development.

The Vietnam Red Book 2007 listed 882 species (including 418 fauna and 464 flora species) as endangered, 161 species more than the figure in 1992. Nine species have been listed as extinct in the wild in Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change, which critically threatens its biodiversity.-VNA