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Joint efforts to protect marine ecology and aquatic resources

Joint efforts to protect marine ecology and aquatic resources

Minister Le Minh Hoan (sixth from left) is with the members of the Coral Protection Co-management Team at Ghenh Rang, Quy Nhon City, the central province of Binh Dinh.

The co-management team was established under the the programme supporting small projects granted by the Global Environment Facility GEF UNDP and implemented by the Fisheries Association with the aim of supporting the local community to protect the coral reef ecosystem, protect the biodiversity of the coastal waters of Quy Nhon Bay as well as to develop sustainable community eco-tourism. The project is implemented for three years from September 2019 to December 2021.

Vu Huy Hao, the team leader said that after two years of operation, up to now, 4 co-management teams were established with 220 members. They helped promote communication activities to change public awareness in the protection of coral reef ecosystems, aquaculture for long-term livelihoods. At the same time, they are directly assigned to manage 46 ha of coastal areas under the Fisheries Law 2017.

Hao said that the cooperatives and cooperative groups of fisheries services combined with public services have been consolidated, maintained their operations, and become the core of the community group in improving the sea landscape and environment, especially the provision of public services, creating a civilized image to attract tourists, and creating new livelihoods for fishermen. Currently, the project has also established four community funds from the contributions of organisations, individuals and units involved in environmental protection and aquatic resources. “The co-management teams initially operate steadily. Their prestige gradually increased to local authorities and people; especially in practical activities to protect the marine ecological environment, protect aquatic resources and create new livelihoods for fishermen," said Nguyen Hai Binh, an official from Binh Dinh Fisheries Association.

However, Binh said that to continue promoting the role of these co-management teams, it still required the efforts and support of local authorities at all levels, the association with businesses and social organisations to mobilise diverse resources.

Minister Le Minh Hoan acknowledged and highly appreciated the role of co-management teams in the management and protection of coral ecosystems in particular and the protection of aquatic resources in coastal waters in general, especially the capacity building and role of local community organisations in preserving and protecting aquatic resources, contributing to sustainable development.

Livelihood initiatives that help reduce the reliance on marine resources exploitation and prevent the over-exploitation would be given priority, Hoan said.

Members of the community team work to protect coral ecosystems.

Minister Hoan also asked the co-management teams to call for the participation and companion of tourism business community to ensure the sharing and harmonisation of interests. From the initial success of this model, coastal provinces need to research, learn and replicate to protect marine ecology and aquatic resources more sustainably.

On the side of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, functional units would be assigned to strengthen exchanges and work with international organisations to continue accompanying to further improve the capacity of the community, the model's effeciency and bring common interests.

“Sharing about the values, benefits and operational goals of the community teams, what they do are not only for future generations but the people themselves, their children and their grandchildren,” Hoan emphasised.

Author: Giang Quan

Translated by Hien Anh

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