Vietnam maps out marine use plan

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is drawing up a master plan on the use of Vietnam’s sea until 2035 and an action plan for the 2017-2025 period.
Vietnam maps out marine use plan ảnh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is drawing up a master plan on the use of Vietnam’s sea until 2035 and an action plan for the 2017-2025 period. The master plan will map out orientations for sea-based socio-economic activities in line with the integrated management of sea and island resources and environment.

Different from other plans, the master plan on the use of Vietnam’s sea focuses on marine environment and resources, the value of marine ecosystems and appropriate exploitation and use of sea.

The master plan on the use of Vietnam’s sea is built in accordance with Article 44 of the Vietnam Law on Sea and the Law on Vietnam’s Sea and Island Natural Resources and Environment.

Other related legal documents are based on the three main groups of criteria for zoning off sea areas.

The first group targets the conservation of coastal ecosystems, including mangrove forests, coral reefs, wetlands, estuaries and bays, along with marine protected areas, bio reserves and national parks with eco-natural and biodiversity values.

The second group focuses on economic development, evaluating the advantages in terms of natural condition, resources and position for developing sea-based economies including port services, waterways, tourism, fishing, aquaculture, energy development, and seashore industry.

The third group pays heed to national defence and security at strategic locations and the needs for protecting sovereignty, security and safety at sea.

Integrated marine use planning is a new tool for sea management. In order to map out this master plan, managers and scientists have been carrying out researches and learning experiences from other countries in the region and the world.

New methods from foreign partners were recommended to apply in Vietnam for the first time.

Some main methods used for the planning include zoning sea areas based on its ecological values, natural resources and the demand for use, conservation and defence; analysing conflicts between conservation and development and among development models; analysing sea management institutions, including policies and regulations on sea management, exploitation and use at coastal localities; and dealing with overlapping zones in the planning of the sea-borne economy and conserving natural resources and the environment.

The master plan on sea use will be built on the basis of analyzing natural conditions, marine environment and ecosystems, and sea exploitation, use and management. It will be based on regional and international context as well as international experiences in sea use planning.

The master plan is expected to have impacts on legal documents on sea management and use in some certain areas, such as socio-economic development planning for the whole nation and coastal localities, sea-based economic planning, island economic development planning, sea reserves planning, environmental protection planning, biodiversity conservation planning, and national defence and security orientation in the East Sea.

Vietnam’s sea is recommended to comprise six zones, namely a zone for special use, a coastal zone where focus is placed on conservation and strong development of integrated economy, a coastal zone for developing integrated economy in combination with preservation, an oil and gas exploitation zone, a fishing zone and a zone for other purposes.

The master plan is expected to help reduce contradiction in exploiting and using marine resources and coastal areas, contributing to protecting the environment and creating a basis for departments, branches and sectors of coastal localities to adjust their relevant plans.

To meet this end, experts said it is necessary to strengthen a multi-sectoral coordination in sea management and in licensing, monitoring and dealing with violations in the use of marine resources and environment.

With concerted contributions by localities and central agencies for the sake of sustainable development of the sea-based economy, the master plan on the use of Vietnam’s sea will be accomplished and come into effect soon.-VNA

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