SIDA Assists Vietnam in Fighting Desertification

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is co-ordinating with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to boost information dissemination and training to increase public awareness of environmental protection and anti-desertification.
The Ministry is also accelerating economic development programmes in conjunction with the programmes to develop forests, upgrade irrigation systems, protect water sources and prevent floods, aiming to reduce poverty in the desertification-affected areas, especially the central coastal, north-western, the Long Xuyen Quardruple and Central Highlands.
Since 1998 when Vietnam joined the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the country has received assistance from its member countries and international organisations in its effort to fight desertification.
At present, the country is mapping out a programme on managing forestry land in a sustainable manner, with funding from the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Trust Fund for Forests (TFF).
With assistance form UNCCD member countries, Vietnam has developed and implemented two important national programmes relating to desertification i.e. the programmes on growing 5 ha of forest and on comprehensive growth and poverty reduction.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, international organisations have provided 192 million USD for Viet Nam to carry out a number of projects to prevent desertification.
Within the framework of UNCCD activities, Vietnam will attend the 8th conference of the UNCCD member countries slated for Spain from September 3-14. High on the agenda will be measures to prevent desertification and climate change which is seriously threatening people’s lives.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s initial survey showed that more than 4.3 million ha of bare land, exerting impacts on about 20 million people nationwide.

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