Nguyễn Thế Đông, Deputy Director General of the Việt Nam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said this at a meeting with local authorities on Tuesday.
The meeting aimed to review the province’s enforcement of the law on biodiversity and implementation of the national biodiversity strategy (until 2020, with a vision through 2030).
Relevant departments and sectors, particularly the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, need to thoroughly study the law on biodiversity and the law on forest protection and development to advise the provincial People’s Committee on biodiversity issues, Đông said.
In response, officials of the province called on the ministry to help Sơn La improve the capacity of State management agencies on biodiversity and bio-safety; and to complete relevant legal policies and mechanisms.
The ministry needs to further study local biological resources, particularly special, rare species and sensitive ecosystems, they said, adding that there was also a need to promote public awareness of biodiversity.
Several biodiversity issues were discussed at the meeting, including management, development of rare gene sources; conservation of flora and fauna, development orientations for medicinal plants, functions and tasks of relevant bodies and local budget for protecting and conserving biodiversity.
Officials said the province has issued several legal documents and developed numerous strategies and plans to protect the environment. They said the province has taken steps to strengthen its environment management apparatus and stepped up enforcement of environmental protection regulations as well as its supervision.
Sơn La is said to have 1,800 fauna species, including 61 rare species listed in Việt Nam’s Red Book in 2007. The province is home to five nature reserves: Copia, Sop Cop, Tà Xùa, Xuân Nha, and Mường La.
Under the province’s plan on biodiversity conservation until 2020 with a vision towards 2030, Sơn La will pay close attention protecting and developing natural biodiversity in submerged areas like the Hòa Bình and Sơn La hydropower plant reservoirs and the upper reaches of the Mã River.
The province has nearly 779,600 hectares of forest, accounting for 45 per cent coverage of the local natural area.
It is home to 622 plant species, including 27 placed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.