National Report of Vietnam for COP7

19/12/1998

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National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)

 Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6

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Contracting Party Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Designated Ramsar Administrative Authority  
Full name of the institution

Vietnam Ramsar Convention Section, National Environment Agency, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment

Name and title of the head of the institution

Mr. Nguyen Khac Kinh, Head of Vietnam Ramsar Convention Section, Deputy Director General of National Environment Agency

Mailing address for the head of the institution

67 Nguyen Du Street, Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Telephone (844) 8223191
Fax (844) 8223189
E-mail ramsarvn@svr1-han.unep.net
Name and title (if different) of the designated contact officer for Ramsar Convention matters  
Mailing address (if different) for the designated contact officer  
Telephone  
Fax  
E-mail  

Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.

1.1 Describe any actions your government has taken (such as hosting regional or subregional meetings/consultations, working cooperatively with neighbouring countries on transfrontier wetland sites) to encourage others to join the Convention.

No.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.

2.1 Has a National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan been developed, or is one being developed or planned for the near future? If so:

a. What are/will be its main features?

b. Was it, or is it, intended that the Policy/Strategy/Action Plan be adopted by the whole of Government, the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters or through some other process. Please describe.

c. How does it relate/will it relate to other national environmental/ conservation planning initiatives (e.g., National Environmental Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans, National Conservation Strategies)?

We have started to develop National Strategy for Management and Conservation of Wetlands in Vietnam (First Draft in Vietnamese has been completed).

In cooperation with IUCN Vietnam, we have completed a Proposal for a National Wetlands Programme for Vietnam.

The Programme will concentrate on creating a mechanism for co-ordinating wetland use, management and conservation activities at national and local levels; establishing a National Working Group on Wetlands; identifying some typical wetland sites for demonstration activities on wetland wise use and management.

Proposal for a National Wetlands Programme for Vietnam will be submitted to the Government, as well as to international donors concerned for technical and financial supports.

The Programme is closely related to the National Plan for Environment and Sustainable Development, the National Biodiversity Action Plan since the Programme plays supplementary role to those Plans.

2.2 If a policy is in place, how much progress has been made in its implementation, and what are the major difficulties being encountered in doing so?

No.

2.3 If a Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is in place, is the responsibility for implementing it with :

a. a single Government Ministry,
b. a committee drawn from several Ministries, or
c. a cross-sectoral committee?

If the Programme is realised, the responsibility for implementing it with a cross-sectoral committee, consisting of Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Aquatic Products, Ministry of Planning and Investment, General Department of Tourism, The Office of the Government, Provincial Authorities.

2.4 For countries with Federal systems of Government, are there Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state or regional levels of Government? Yes/No   If yes, please give details.

There is intention that all Provinces of Vietnam should have their own Plan for Wetlands Wise Use, management and Conservation.

2.5 Has a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands been carried out, and if so, has this resulted in any changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention? Please describe these.

For the time being, there is no separate legislation concerning wetland management and conservation.

Wetlands in general now are under responsibility of many Ministries, therefore, there is a lot of overlaps and conflicts in utilisation of wetlands. Because of that, wetland losses are increasing, e.g. destroying mangroves for shrimp cultivation, filling-up lakes and other water bodies for industrial and urban development...

2.6 Describe the efforts made in your country to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes at the following levels:

a. national
b. provincial
c. local

There is no specific effort made for integrated wetland management and conservation. However, the issues of wetland conservation have been mentioned in some legal documents, such as the Law on Environmental Protection and some other legal documents of the Government.

2.7 Have there been any publications produced, or practices documented, which could assist other countries to promote and improve the application of the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines? Yes/No   If Yes, please provide details and copies.

No.

2.8 Noting COP6 Recommendation 6.14 relating to toxic chemicals and pollution, please advise of the actions taken since then "to remedy and to prevent pollution impacts affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands" (Operative paragraph 9).

For implementing of the Law on Environmental Protection, each development project should prepare and submit to the Government EIA Report for appraisal. Any development establishment having its wastewater discharged into water bodies should meet effluent standards issued by the Government.

2.9 Describe what steps have been taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions.

Not yet.

2.10 Is Environmental Impact Assessment for actions potentially impacting on wetlands required under legislation in your country? Yes/No

Yes.

2.11 Is wetland restoration and rehabilitation considered a priority in your country? Yes/No.  If Yes, describe the actions that have been taken to identify wetlands in need of these actions and to mobilise resources for restoration or rehabilitation.

A special programme is going on to identify criteria for establishment of wetland protective areas for inclusion in the National System of Natural Protected Areas (at present there is a system of National Protected Areas consisting of nearly one hundred ones, but all of them are related to inland forests.)

2.12 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands." (refer to Actions 2.7.1-4 in the Strategic Plan).

There have been organised some workshops, seminars for managers, scientists as well as local people to promote awareness on the role of wetland conservation and management for economic development and nature conservation, especially those organised in the wetland areas of national and international importance, e.g. in the Mekong Delta, the Red River Delta, in the estuarine areas, in the typical lagoons of the middle part of the country.

2.13 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands" (refer to Actions 2.8.1-4 in the Strategic Plan). Has this included a review of fiscal measures (taxation arrangements, etc.) to identify and remove disincentives and introduce incentives for wetlands conservation and wise use? Yes/No   If yes, please provide details.

Not yet.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels

3.1 Is there a government-run national programme for Education and Public Awareness in your country which focuses on, or includes, wetlands? Yes/No?   If yes, what are the priority actions under this programme and who are the target groups? (Refer also to question 9.4)

No.

3.2 Describe the steps taken to have wetlands issues and Ramsar’s Wise Use principles included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. Has this been at all levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary and adult)? Please give details.

Not yet.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.

4.1 Describe the mechanisms in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the various institutions responsible for actions which can have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. If one of the mechanisms is a National Ramsar/Wetlands Committee, please describe its composition, functions and modus operandi.

Not yet.

4.2 Of the following, indicate which have been undertaken:

a. a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands Yes/No? If yes, please indicate the major findings of the review.

Yes. For implementing Directive No 36/ CT-TW dated 26 June 1998 of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam on Strengthening environmental protection in the period of industrialisation and modernisation of the country, there has been being prepared a Programme to include environmental issues into educational system of Vietnam. In this Programme, we do believe that the wetland issues to be included.

b. a review to identify training opportunities for these people both within your country and in other countries. Yes/No?

Not yet.

c. the development of training modules or a training programme specifically for wetland managers. If yes, please give details.

Not yet.

d. people from your country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country. Yes/No? If yes, please give details.

Yes. There have been some people gained wetland-related training locally (workshops, seminars...) as well as internationally (training courses, ...).


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).

5.1 Of the Ramsar sites in your country, how many have formal management plans:

a. being prepared?
b. fully prepared?
c. being implemented?

Please indicate in the attached table of Ramsar sites which sites these are and what category they fall into.

In Vietnam, there only one Ramsar Site (Xuan Thuy Wetland), for which a formal management plan is being implemented.

At the present, there is a lot of difficulties in management of this Site due to unidentified stable institutional establishment responsible for management of the Site.

5.2 Of the management plans referred to above, which ones have included a monitoring scheme or programme to allow changes in ecological character to be detected? Please indicate this in the attached table of Ramsar sites also.

5.3 Has there been a change in the ecological character (either positive or negative) at any of your Ramsar sites or is this likely to occur in the near future? Yes/No. If Yes, please give details.

5.4 In the case of Montreux Record Ramsar sites where the Management Guidance Procedure has been applied, what is the status of the implementation of the MGP report recommendations? What is the expected time-frame for removing the site from the Montreux Record?

5.5 For those countries referred to in COP6 Recommendations 6.17.1-4, "Ramsar sites in the Territories of Specific Contracting Parties", please provide advice on the actions that have been taken in response to the issues raised at that time.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Convention’s criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.

6.1 Has a national inventory of wetlands been prepared for your country? Yes/No.

Yes. There has been completed a small project for wetland inventory covering several sites located in the Northern part of the country.

If no, are there plans for this to be done? Yes/No.

There is intention to undertake further inventory of other wetlands depending on future available funding.

Where a national inventory exists please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept and what information it contains.

6.2 Does there exist a list or directory of "important" wetlands for your country or region? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept, what criteria for "important" were used, and the types of information it contains.

Yes. There is an initial list of important wetlands, which is now being updated basing on the criteria to be developed as mentioned above under Item 2.11.

6.3 If it is known, please provide an estimate of the area of wetlands in your country at present and any information on rates of loss or conversion to other activities. If this information is available, please indicate what definition of "wetland" was used.

To be identified.

6.4 Have any actions been taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations that Contracting Parties should give priority to listing Wetlands of International Importance which:

a. meet the criteria for fish habitat (Resolution VI.2),
b. meet the 1% criterion for waterbird populations using data provided by the International Waterfowl Census (Resolution VI.4),
c. are subterranean karst or cave wetland systems (Resolution VI.5),
d. are peatland ecosystems (Recommendation 6.1)
e. are coral reefs and associated systems (Recommendation 6.7)
f. are under-represented wetland types (which apart from d. and e. above include mangroves and sea grass beds) (Strategic Plan Action 6.2.3)

To be developed.

6.5 If your government indicated at COP6 that it would be proceeding to list further specific sites, please advise of the status of this action.

It is intending to include in the Ramsar list some wetlands (Tam Nona, Con Van, Tam Giang-Cau Hai,...)

6.6 Please advise which of the sites included in the Ramsar List from your country are transfrontier wetlands (Refer also to 7.1).

No.

6.7 Describe any plans, or actions being taken for further transfrontier sites to be listed (Refer also to 7.1).

No.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.

7.1 Briefly describe any bilateral or multilateral activities that have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Refer also to 6.6 and 6.7).

No.

7.2 Do you have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

No.

7.3 Where your country is also a signatory of any of the following Conventions, describe what mechanism(s) exist to assist regular dialogue and cooperative actions between the personnel responsible for their implementation and the Ramsar Administrative Authority:

a. Convention on Biological Diversity

National Environment Agency

b. Framework Convention on Climate Change

General Department of Meteorology and Hydrology

c. Convention to Combat Desertification

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

d. Convention on Migratory Species

No.

e. World Heritage Convention

Ministry of Culture and Information

7.4 Is your country cooperating as part of any bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No.

7.5 Are there multilateral and/or bilateral donors supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

No.

7.6 Does your government make an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within your country? Yes/No. If yes, is this a specific allocation to a wetlands programme or as part of a larger environment or natural resource management budget?

Yes. It annually allocated under development projects for Land use of different Ministries. So it can not be identified separately.

7.7 If your country has a development assistance programme, does it include funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.

No.

7.8 Is there a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in your country, where one exists? Yes/No. If yes, what is that process.

No.


Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.

8.1 Has your government made voluntary financial contributions, other than the invoiced contributions or to the Small Grants Fund, to further the work of the Convention globally? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.

Not yet.

8.2 If your country is in arrears with the payment of its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention, please indicate the reasons for this situation and the prospects for paying these arrears in the near future.

Not in arrears.


Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention

These are optional questions relating to cooperation with and involvement of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention.

At COP6 some 42 NGOs made the "Brisbane NGO pledge of support for the Ramsar Convention". The Standing Committee agreed that for COP7 there should be an effort made to gauge the level and type of cooperation which is occurring between government Administrative Authorities and the national and international NGOs with an interest in wetlands issues.

In this optional section of the National Report, you are asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.

9.1 Approximately how many NGOs have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in your country?

Please break this down between international, regional and national/provincial organizations.

9.2 Is there a regular forum or mechanism through which these NGOs express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation:

a. to each other? Yes/No
b. to the government? Yes/No

9.3 Does your government include one or more NGO representatives on its official delegation to Ramsar COPs? Yes/No

9.4 Do any of the NGOs run programmes aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please give details (Refer also to question 3.1).

9.5 Where they exist, do Ramsar site management advisory committees include NGO representatives? If yes, please give details

9.6 Describe the themes of the Convention (refer to General Objectives 1-8 of the Strategic Plan) where you perceive the national/provincial NGOs to be most active.


Final comments:

10.1 General comments on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

In order to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan actively and effectively, may we suggest to rename the "Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as waterfowl habitat" to the "Convention on Wise Use, Management and Conservation of Wetlands". It is because of the following reasons:

The people misunderstand that the aim of the Convention is to deal with only wetlands of international importance and waterfowl, not to deal with wetlands in general, especially wetlands of national importance.

Also, because of this misunderstanding, the people expect that by joining the Convention the local can get a lot of funding and other support from international communities. Consequently, it is too difficult to implement the Ramsar Strategic Plan in Vietnam, and perhaps, in other countries also, because of the lack of local financial resources.

10.2 Observations concerning the functioning of, relations with, and services provided by:

a. The Ramsar Standing Committee
b. The Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel
c. The Ramsar Bureau
d. The Ramsar NGO partners

10.3 Any other general observations and/or recommendations for the future.

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