Decree to Regulate Biodiversity Corridors

11 September 2008 | News story

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) is incorporating expertise from IUCN Viet Nam into a decree it is developing to create regulations for managing biodiversity corridors in Viet Nam.

Biodiversity corridors – designated areas of suitable habitat that link protected areas – maintain or restore connectivity between fragmented or isolated habitats.  The land or water pathways allow plants and animals to disperse and migrate to meet food and water requirements, find mates, seek refuge from predators and adapt to the pressures of changing climate and habitat conditions, ensuring the viability of species populations.

In recognition of the crucial role that corridors can play in biodiversity conservation across national borders as well as within national boundaries, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of the countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) agreed to undertake the Core Environmental Program (CEP) and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative (BCI) from 2005 to 2010.

Under the ADB funded CEP-BCI, MoNRE agreed with ADB to develop a Decree on Biodiversity Corridors within the context of the GMS programmatic approach. Lessons learned about the development, adoption and implementation of this decree in Vietnam will be shared with other GMS countries.

The Decree on Biodiversity Corridors  will be issued under a new Biodiversity Law that is in the final stages of consideration in the National Assembly and which is expected to be enacted by the end of November 2008.
 
In July 2007, IUCN Viet Nam and MoNRE, in consultation with IUCN’s Asia Regional Programmes on Environmental Law and Protected Areas and other experts and partners, produced background papers examining national legal instruments governing aspects of biodiversity corridors in Viet Nam and surveying international management experience in the field.

IUCN provided MoNRE with an annotated draft Decree on Biodiversity Corridors in December 2007 and is presently engaged in the consultation process. In collaboration with MoNRE, IUCN is co-ordinating three consultation meetings to receive stakeholder comments and is revising the draft Decree following each consultation. 

A Central Technical Working Group meeting with IUCN partners, members, and national and international consultants was held in Hanoi on 17 July 2008. The participants’ valuable contributions were incorporated into a revised draft which was considered at the second consultation meeting in the province of Quang Nam on 5 September 2008.  The second consultation was particularly helpful because it brought together the provincial and local authorities who are currently managing corridor initiatives.  Their experience is reflected in the draft which IUCN has submitted to MoNRE.  Following the enactment of the Biodiversity Law, IUCN Viet will convene a national level consultation meeting to finalize the Decree. 

For more information, please contact Mrs. Ly Thi Minh Hai at hai@iucn.org.vn