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Bay preservation for biodiversity
The World Heritage-listed Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam's iconic tourism sites. It is also home to considerable economic activity, which represents a significant threat to its conservation: the bay's biodiversity has already been seriously affected by tourism, coal mining, and aquaculture and fishing activities. That’s why support from the French Facility for Global Environment could not come at a better time.

The French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) is funding a project to support the integrated management of Ha Long Bay, Hai Phong Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. It will contribute to the sustainable economic and social development of this coastal zone, with a grant of €1.2 million. This project is being spearheaded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and implemented by the Administration of Seas and Islands within Vietnam's Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment.

Last month, stakeholders met to discuss the integrated management project for coastal zones in Hai Phong Estuary, Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay. In attendance were Vu Truong Son, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and Fabrice Richy, Director of AFD in Vietnam.

Those present discussed the stages of project implementation, and assessed the current status of the integrated management of coastal zones in Quang Ninh and Hai Phong provinces, and share experiences of the integrated management model from bay contracts in France.

French expertise 

The first stage of this project will be establishing a diagnostic of the environment. From there, institutional stakeholders and economic and scientific operators will develop an integrated management method for the coastal zones, using a “bay contract” approach and pilot initiatives, targeting the major problems affecting the bays. This project will be implemented with the support of the City of Brest, in France.  

“This project is an excellent example of sharing knowledge,” says Janique Etienne, Manager of Ocean Projects and Nature-based Solutions at FFEM. “The City of Brest as a partner, will share its experience in integrated management of coastal zones. Furthermore, the project fits perfectly into FFEM's 2019-2022 strategic cycle, which promotes coastal resilience by managing uses, limiting pollution and supporting the development of sustainable industries.”

An integrated approach 

This project should allow both for sustainable social and economic development in the area, as well as a reduction in the impact of pollution on public health and the environment, all while contributing to the development of the regulatory framework on implementing integrated management of coastal zones.

“I am delighted to see this project get under way, as it's essential for the preservation of the Ha Long, Hai Phong and Bai Tu Long coastal zones,” says Fabrice Richy, AFD’s Director in Vietnam. “It's a central part of our fight against climate change and protecting biodiversity.”