Over the course of the last decade or two, Viet Nam has shown remarkable social progress in human development, with poverty decreasing and incomes rising. Its economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. Between 2000 and 2010, GDP grew at an average rate of 7.38%.
Amid such high growth, however, the limits of natural systems are becoming evident. Whilst the Government of Viet Nam has introduced new legislation and embarked on programs and projects to mitigate the environmental impacts of urban and industrial expansion, the effectiveness of these measures is not well known.
In terms of natural resource management, forest cover has increased nationwide after years of decline, but more work is needed to assess the quality of this increased forest cover in order to understand its biodiversity and soil conservation benefits.
Coastal zone ecosystems have seen major changes, leading to the loss of valuable coastal habitats such as mangroves, sea grass and corals. There are indications, however, that mangrove forests are showing signs of a gradual recovery from an all-time low in 1995.
CEP in Viet Nam
Under CEP, two biodiversity conservation corridor sites have been established – the Ngoc Linh-Xe Sap site and transboundary corridor of Cao Bang-Guangxi. The country also took part in two rounds of environmental performance reporting, covering the period 2003 to 2011.
Three strategic environmental assessments (SEA) have been completed in Viet Nam: two for national power development planning and one on land-use planning in Quang Nam Province. An SEA on Red River basin water resource management began in early 2012. Viet Nam is also one of CEP’s focal countries for climate change mitigation and adaptation work.
Click here to learn more about CEP work in Viet Nam.