IUCN Supports Integrated Coastal Management in the Gulf of Tonkin
The coastal areas of Quang Ninh province and Hai Phong city face many similar issues, and on April 21 the Provincial People’s Committees (PPC) of the two jurisdictions formally agreed to coordinate their development and conservation planning.
Authorities from the two areas signed an Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) agreement in the presence of 55 workshop participants. The framework was designed with support from IUCN to allow the two areas to develop joint policies governing all sectors at work in the coastal zones in a coordinated way.
The framework agreement is part of the project, “Building Capacity on Integrated Coastal Management for Quang Ninh and Hai Phong” – a partnership between IUCN Viet Nam, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Viet Nam Administration on Sea and Island (VASI).
The agreement provides an overview of the government bodies with responsibility for the Quang Ninh – Hai Phong coastal area, of international conventions relevant to the area, and of the many industries operating there.
It identifies challenges to management, including: inefficient and unsustainable coastal exploitation, degraded environment, reduced biodiversity, inconsistent governance and limited community participation in management decisions.
The ICM agreement seeks to overcome the challenges caused in part by the previous disjointed, sector-by-sector management. It is based around the principles of linking coastal economic development with wise ecological resource use; regenerating and developing coastal resources; and ensuring economic efficiency, social security and ecological and environmental safety.
Workshop participants agreed to implement specific management actions. They discussed the importance of expanding international cooperation on coastal and island management, and committed to building a partner relationship between Viet Nam and China in managing transboundary environmental issues in the Gulf of Tonkin.
They further agreed to developing response plans for global climate change and sea level rise; building networks for water quality monitoring and evaluation; managing continental effects on the coastal environment; and building a coastal and sea space project in Quang Ninh- Hai Phong, among other actions.
The workshop came on the heels of an earlier training on creating an oil spill response plan between the two provinces.
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