Geology, Ecosystem and Biodiversity

©UNESCO / Cat Ba biosphere reserve

In a time of increasing uncertainty and socio-political instability it is essential to continue to honour commitments to the environment. In particular, earth sciences such as geology, ecosystem management and biodiversity hold key answers to the challenges in preserving the environment and sustainable development of Viet Nam.

UNESCO has focused on promoting global collaboration over matters concerning mineral resources and ecosystem management through the International Geosciences Programme (IGCP), supporting over 340 international cooperation projects on the Earth’s geology. Viet Nam joined the IGCP in 1981, following the Prime Minister signed Decision establishing the IGCP National Committee of Viet Nam. Since then, Vietnamese geologists have been actively involved in over 50 IGCP projects. These projects have allowed for better understanding of the biosphere and solutions to problems that threaten to undermine environmental sustainability.

UNESCO also works to ensure sustainable development at Viet Nam's geopark, biosphere reserve and world natural heritage sites. Interventions include integrating local customary rights and practices into protected area management, building capacity in tourism management at biosphere reserves, and further developing biosphere reserves as sites for education and research for sustainable development, particularly in relation to growing climate change effects.

The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme was set up specifically to discover more about the relationship between humans and nature. From this, more than 600 Biosphere reserves have been established around the world with the aim of developing new methods for protecting natural ecosystems whilst creating new opportunities for environmentally sustainable economic development. In close collaboration with UNESCO, Viet Nam has become a hub for biodiversity research. Viet Nam’s tropical climate and diverse ecosystems have allowed for the successful development of nine biosphere reserves and one global geopark in various locations across the country, including:

  1. Can Gio Mangrove (2000)  
  2. Dong Nai (2001, former Cat Tien, extended in 2011)
  3. Cat Ba (2004)
  4. Red River Delta (2004)
  5. Kien Gian (2006)
  6. Western Nghe An (2007)
  7. Mui Ca Mau (2000)
  8. Cu Lao Cham - Hoi An (2009)
  9. Langbiang (2015)
  10. Dong Van Karst Plateau (2010, UNESCO Global Geopark)

The success of Viet Nam’s biosphere projects cannot be understated. They have helped sustain ethnic communities whilst creating viable economic opportunities that actively support the protection of endangered ecosystems. These reserves also help to maintain animal habitats and act as “learning laboratories” for scientists studying climate change and sustainability.

Back to top