IUCN, under the framework of Mangroves for the Future (MFF) and in collaboration with Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee and Da Nang City People’s Committee, organised a high level round-table discussion on "Integrated watershed and coastal management in Vu Gia – Thu Bon River Basin and Quang Nam - Da Nang coastal areas: From Ridge to Reef Approach” on 24 November 2016 in Hoi An city.
Since 2013, IUCN, through MFF, has been working with local authorities and other partners to promote integrated watershed and coastal management. This has included a series of events such as the Ridge to Reef (R2R) approach inception workshop, a policy brief development, a consultation workshop on policy briefings, and the aforementioned high level round-table discussion.
The purposes of the discussion were (i) to strengthen coordination between relevant stakeholders (intersectional), especially inter-regions between Quang Nam and Da Nang in order to pilot integrated watershed and coastal management; (ii) to share information and lessons learned among local and international scientists; (iii) to discuss the draft Coordination Agreement between Quang Nam Province and Da Nang city, which is a pilot application of the “Integrated watershed and coastal management in Vu Gia – Thu Bon River Basin and Quang Nam - Da Nang coastal areas” for final approval from leaders of both parties.
On 21 December 2016, after the approval from both parties, the signing ceremony of the Coordination Agreement on the 'Integrated watershed and coastal management in Vu Gia – Thu Bon River Basin and Quang Nam - Da Nang coastal areas' was officially organised in Da Nang city and signed by Mr. Ho Ky Minh, Vice Chairman of Da Nang City People’s Committee and Mr. Le Tri Thanh, Vice Chairman of Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee.
Both Quang Nam and Da Nang agreed that: (i) Integrated Management (IM) of river basins and coastal areas with the 'from-ridge-to-reef (R2R)' approach is a new area management method that needs to be applied to ‘transboundary’ waters in Vietnam; (ii) the Vu Gia - Thu Bon river basin and Quang Nam - Da Nang coastal area have all the basic characteristics, suitable to become a case study in Vietnam for testing inter-provincial mechanism in the IM of the river basins and coastal areas.
The purpose of the join Coordination Agreement focuses on: (1) enhancing coordination between Quang Nam Province and Da Nang City, between departments, agencies, and relevant parties for the IM of Vu Gia - Thu Bon river basin and Quang Nam - Da Nang coastal area, aimed at harmonizing economic development, social welfare, and ecological and environmental safety (conservation); (2) sharing information, encouraging collaboration between relevant parties (departments, agencies, enterprises in the area; between the government and the local community, and between management boards of nature and heritage conservation zones in the area); and (3) establishing an inter-provincial institution to implement the IM of Vu Gia - Thu Bon river basin and Quang Nam - Da Nang coastal area.
Based on this Coordination Agreement, an intercity-provincial institution will be established to manage Vu Gia – Thu Bon River Basin and Quang Nam – Da Nang coastal areas. This includes a joint Coordination Committee focal point agency and an action plan for a pilot phase.