Experts have called for measures to ensure the sustainable development of Lý Sơn Island in the central province of Quảng Ngãi.
Speaking at a conference about the island, Trần Hữu Vỹ, Director of the GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Centre, said Lý Sơn has beautiful natural landscapes thanks to the perfect combination of mountain and sea.
The island has strong potential in sea-based economic development, said Vỹ, stressing the need for the island to grow in the direction of sustainability with ensured livelihoods for local residents, preserved cultural identity, suitable use of natural resources and the environment protected.
Mentioning the promotion of marine biodiversity on the island, Dr Nguyễn Văn Long from the Institute of Oceanography under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology said that in recent years, the strong and unplanned growth of a number of economic sectors has harmed the ecological balance, natural landscape and the living environment of many aquatic species.
Over-exploitation of coral sand and aquatic farming activities, along with plastic pollution, are part of the problem, he said, adding that waterway traffic works and the formation of fishing vessel wharves have also caused difficulties in handling maritime violations.
He stressed the need to strengthen communications to raise public awareness of environmental protection, while seeking ways to improve locals’ livelihoods, increasing patrols to handle maritime violations and promoting financial solutions.
Meanwhile, Bùi Thị Thu Hiền from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Việt Nam said in the near future, the engagement of businesses in operating small-scaled natural reserves can be key to protecting the ecosystems of forests, coral reefs, seagrass, and mangrove forests.
At the event, the business circle, scientists and managers discussed issues related to ensuring a balance between economic development and natural preservation, as well as support for enterprises in investing in the field as well as ensuring the legal responsibility of State agencies and businesses.
Experts also gave recommendations for the sustainable development of Lý Sơn Island, including enhancing the efficiency of management and use of software in biodiversity and natural resources preservation, the adjustments of planning, as well as the establishment and operation of aquatic varieties preservation areas, the combination of conservation and eco-tourism, and the development of environmentally-friendly recovery models.
Lý Sơn Island, known as the Kingdom of Garlic in Việt Nam, has about 21,000 inhabitants, of whom 73 per cent make their living from farming garlic and spring onions, alongside fishing.
In 2018, the central province of Quảng Ngãi allocated VNĐ42 billion (US$1.8 million) to support ecosystem recovery and biodiversity supervision as well as strengthening the protection of the Lý Sơn Marine Protected Area (MPA) for 2018-22.