The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the World Wild Fund (WWF) met on June 6 to discuss their upcoming cooperation since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation and membership in the One Health Partnership on the Prevention of Zoonotic Diseases in mid-February.
Through many programs and projects, such as the Project on Sustainable Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation, the Project on Protection of Endangered Species of Wild Animals, the Restoration of Water Resources in Vietnam, and Saving the Saola from Extinction, WWF has proactively cooperated with MARD to connect with domestic and international partners to carry out the missions of conserving biodiversity, natural resources, and restoring ecosystems for sustainable development.
According to Mr. Nick Cox, Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Component of the USAID-funded Sustainable Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation Project, the project focuses on maintaining and improving forest quality, as well as the management and protection of protection forests and special-use forests.
He praised the effective cooperation between the two parties throughout the implementation of the project, which focuses on four main activities: promoting conservation-friendly production and business for forest-dependent communities; strengthening the management of protection forests and special-use forests; enhancing the effectiveness of law enforcement systems against wildlife and forest crime; and reducing demand for illegal wildlife and forest products.
Ms. Michelle Owen, director of the Saving Threatened Wildlife (STW) Project, applauded the cooperation of the agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and anticipates Vietnam's support in the near future when the project is implemented to combat illegal wildlife trade from 2022 to 2027.
The WWF also highlighted the recent efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to construct and grow sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change and to boost the management of wildlife sanctuaries. It was affirmed that MARD will be provided with a network of experts and access to public and private financing in order to enhance climate resilience, manage protected areas, combat wildlife trafficking, and conserve biodiversity, among other initiatives.
Deputy Minister of MARD Le Quoc Doanh stated that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and WWF have collaborated closely and successfully in several areas. He urged WWF to invest in research initiatives in the Mekong Delta, a significant export region for rice, fruit, and seafood that faces severe climate change consequences. Although there have been scientific estimates on the direction of favorable production, there are still numerous challenges associated with upgrading infrastructure and enhancing production capacity that demand more systematic and suitable efforts and models to address climate change.
In addition, Mr. Le Quoc Doanh believes that WWF would help Vietnam in the future study and development of a program for the regulated repatriation of wild animals into the wild.
Additionally, Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh confirmed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will closely direct the units conducting programs to properly collaborate with WWF and implement them.
Translated by Dieu Linh
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(VAN) Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai offered the initiative in a meeting with the Vietnamese delegation who attended the SPS Committee-WTO meeting on June 24.