World Environment Day 2020: Efforts to spread Ta Dung Lake with hundreds of "islets" of different sizes, which is dubbed as "Ha Long Bay" of the Central Highlands (Photo: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) - World Environment Day 2020 took the theme "Action for Nature" this year, marking an important milestone for countries to commit to the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

Born nearly five decades ago, World Environment Day (June 5) holds significance to encourage political interest and inspire the community, thereby joining hands to protect the environment and spread action for a “green future”.

“Action for Nature” was the theme chosen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) this year, marking an important milestone for countries to commit to the conservation of nature and biodiversity before entering the “decade of ecosystem restoration”. It is also time for each nation to take specific and practical actions for nature and the earth.

"Bright spots" in conservation

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the United Nations General Assembly on December 15, 1972, issued a resolution designating June 5 as World Environment Day as proposed by the UNEP.

Since 1982, activities in response to the day have been held annually, becoming a widespread movement nationwide, contributing to raising public awareness of the protection of the environment, biodiversity, water resources, sustainable development and climate change.

Vietnam is now one of the 16 countries globally with the highest range of biodiversity. Currently the country is home to 173 protected areas covering more than 2,500 ha, including 33 national parks, 66 nature reserves, 18 habitats and species management areas, and 56 protected landscape areas.

World Environment Day 2020: Efforts to spread Many species are at risk of extinction (Photo: VNA)

A number of protected nature areas have won international recognition, including nine world biosphere areas sprawling over 4.2 million ha, two UNESCO-recognised world nature heritage sites, nine Ramsar sites covering more than 120,000ha, and 10 marine protected areas of nearly 188,000ha.

Last year, the ASEAN Secretariat recognised four more ASEAN heritage gardens, raising the total in Vietnam to 10. The MONRE has also established three biodiversity corridors, including Thai Thuy and Tam Giang – Cau Hai wetland protected areas in Thai Binh and Thua Thien-Hue provinces, respectively.

In recent years, special attention has been paid to protecting wild species, contributing to preventing the trade and consumption of endangered species and protecting biodiversity of Vietnam and the world.

A MONRE representative said precious genetic resources have been conserved nationwide via the gene foundation programme, especially those of plants, animals, aquatic products and herbal materials.

The number of precious genes is on the rise, including those of 45,974 agricultural and 3,727 herbal plants, 887 animals, 207 aquatic products and 21,393 microorganisms.

The MONRE built and fine-tuned the Law on Biodiversity which was approved by the legislature in 2008. It is also amending the Law on Environment Protection, including seven articles on biodiversity management and conservation.

Spreading “green actions”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the MONRE outlined plans to raise public awareness of World Environment Day and launched the Month for Environment Protection with mottos such as ‘the use of green materials contributes to environment protection’; ‘biodiversity – journey to maintain lives’; ‘biodiversity – right awareness, enough action’; and ‘action for nature’.

It also launched programmes, competitions and movements for the effort.

On the occasion, the MONRE will also work with the People's Committee of Thua Thien-Hue province and authorities concerned to announce the Tam Giang-Cau Hai Lagoon Wetland Nature Reserve.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said the communications campaigns will target people nationwide, especially the youths and those easily accessing modern technology and actively changing for a better life.

The MONRE also encourages hanging posters, banners made from eco-friendly materials in public places, offices and other suitable locations. Localities are also launching campaigns to clean up the environment, plant trees, collect wastes, and discourage the use of disposable plastics.

A MONRE representative expressed hope to inspire actions to protect natural resources, seas and islands, which are rights, interests and responsibility of people nationwide./.