Sustainable ocean-based economy linked to global prosperity hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Sustainable development of an ocean-based economy is the key to the prosperity of mankind on the Earth. To meet that end, Vietnam needs to undertake urgent action to turn challenges into new opportunities of development.

Vietnam has a coastline of more than 3,260 km. However, the country’s marine environment faces increasing threats from climate change, natural disasters, environmental pollution, overexploitation of natural resources and an unsustainable economy.

In particular, global warming and marine plastic waste are threatening marine resources and coral reefs. It is estimated that about 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste from within Vietnam makes its way into the ocean every day. This alarming fact warns that if nothing changes, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

According to the Blue Economy Scenarios for Vietnam report, Vietnam's oceans are replete with diverse and productive ecosystems. The country boats 20 ecosystems, including marine ecosystems around coastal islands, and offshore islands, especially marine areas and those of deep seabed.

Mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass and lagoons are considered typical ecosystems because they are the most biodiverse, contain the highest conservation value and ecological-economic significance.

Coastal landscapes and islands, together with natural ecosystems with high biodiversity are also the premise for the development of economic sectors such as tourism, fisheries and renewable energy.

In addition, marine ecosystems also contain essential functions such as carbon sequestration (seagrass and mangroves), climate regulation and disaster prevention.

Ta Dinh Thi, Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly's Committee on Technology and Environment, said current ocean-based economic development is not sustainable.

Sea-based economic development has not yet harmoniously linked with social development and environmental protection, and pollution and environmental incidents are still prevalent.

Plastic pollution has become an urgent problem. According to Thi, the marine ecosystems and biodiversity have been degraded while some marine resources were exploited unsustainably.

He added that limited capacity in economic and scientific resources has led to challenges in exploring and exploiting marine resources with reduced impact to the environment.

The trend to develop the green sea-based economy globally helps to promote the development of countries, including Vietnam.

Pioneering countries have put forth many programmes to develop a green economy and a green sea-based economy. The programmes focus on green production; green industry - using green technologies; using renewable energies and reducing environmental pollution; and green consumption - building a green lifestyle and protecting the natural environment.

Sustainable ocean-based economy linked to global prosperity hinh anh 2Illustrative image (Source: Hung Vo/Vietnam+)

In his keynote address at the International Conference on Sustainable Ocean Economy and Climate Change Adaptation, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh emphasised that all countries need to make stronger commitments to demonstrate their responsibility for the sustainable development of the ocean economy.

Thanh emphasised that as marine pollution and ocean plastic waste are urgent global issues, countries should establish a global system to monitor, share data, to provide a scientific basis to calculate ocean plastic waste and the damage from it on a national, regional and global scale.

In the coming time, nations need to overcome challenges in their efforts to tackle ocean plastic pollution on a global scale, and sustainably manage resources and activities at sea such as aquaculture, fishing, shipping, marine and coastal tourism, and energy development in oceans, he stated.

Developed countries should be responsible for providing financial support, sharing management experience and transferring technologies, while developing nations need strive to soon master science and technology of the blue economy so as to solve global sea and ocean issues together, Thanh added.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Minh Ngan stressed that protecting the health of oceans is a sustainable guarantee for economic growth and social prosperity, food security, livelihoods and employment in many countries. This is especially the case for vulnerable countries such as small developing island nations, and low coastal states.

Vietnam has always demonstrated its responsibility as an active member in the international community. It is ready to cooperate with other countries and partners to share scientific knowledge, experience, resources and overall management initiatives for a sustainable ocean economy and climate change adaptation, Ngan added./.