On November 23, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam inked an agreement to support the planning of maritime space for ocean sustainability and climate change response in Vietnam.
Delegates at the signing ceremony (Photo: UNDP in Vietnam)
This new technical assistance package will support the Vietnamese government in strengthening and implementing maritime spatial planning (MSP). It will also assist Vietnam in creating and establishing a more rational use of marine space and the interconnections between its uses, balancing the need for growth with the need to maintain marine ecosystems and achieving social and economic goals, in an open and organised manner.
This endeavour aims to promote a cross-sectoral approach to the management of economic, environmental, and social concerns, in strategic planning and long-term investments. The MSP is not intended to replace sector-specific planning, but instead, it provides integrated evidence-based data to support decision-makers, to make more confident, complete, and complementary decisions.
The technical assistance package will take place at the central level and in three sites at the local level. The sites were selected based on the following criteria, namely: a small eco-region with the potential for a practical solution; political and administrative support; the availability of a reasonable amount of spatial biophysical data and information of critical resources; and a competent and willing authority to develop and implement the marine spatial plans.
Speaking at the ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Ramla Khalidi, pledged that UNDP will continue to accelerate and strengthen the work on Marine Spatial Planning, which is vital to unlocking the potential of the Blue Economy, and in particular to leverage Vietnam's enormous potential for marine wind energy as a key renewable power source for the country's climate target.
Meanwhile, Hilde Solbakken, Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam and Lao, said that Norway has good experience in the development and application of marine spatial planning (MSP) that can be shared with Vietnam. “We are happy to work with UNDP Vietnam and our Vietnamese partners in the process through this three-year project,” she stated.
For her part, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands (VASI) Pham Thu Hang, stressed that marine spatial planning is a key task assigned by the Prime Minister to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and in particular, VASI to implement. It is an important foundation for marine economic development under the Resolution 26 of the Government, on sustainable development of Vietnam's marine economy.