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May 13, 2023 / 09:28

Vietnam expects IMO help in sustainable maritime industry

Vietnam is an active member of the International Maritime Organization that should be taken as an example of pursuing sustainable development.

Vietnam has requested the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to make policies on the development of the maritime industry to be in line with the country’s net-zero commitment by 2050.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization Kitack Lim in Hanoi on May 12. Photo: VGP

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh made the request at the meeting with IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in Hanoi on May 12.

In addition, Prime Minister Chinh briefed his visitor on Vietnam's advantages in the development of renewable energy, noting that the nation has enormous potential for producing wind, solar, biomass electricity, and hydrogen, among other forms of renewable energy.

PM Chinh expected that IMO, the UN specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships, will have policies to support developing countries like Vietnam in completing regulatory frameworks, funding, applying technologies, and training manpower.

He hoped that Vietnamese officials would be trained at the organization’s facilities around the world. Qualified manpower would be a key factor to help improve Vietnam’s maritime capacity, PM Chinh said at the meeting that is part of the preparations for the 40th anniversary of the Southeast Asian country and IMO (in 2024).

In addition, Vietnam expected IMO to extending its assistance in completing the maritime regulatory framework and signing international treaties to ensure maritime safety and security while protecting the environment and ensuring freedom of navigation.

At the meeting, Kitack Lim advised Vietnam to continue sharing its expertise, collaborating with other IMO members, and working with the organization to fulfill its commitments to emission reduction and sustainable maritime development.

Vietnam’s marine spatial planning

As part of its net-zero commitment by 2050, Vietnam has issued marine spatial planning on Sustainable Exploitation and Use of Coastal Resources from 2021 to 2030, with a Vision to 2045. The master plan, prepared for the first time in Vietnam, is to sustainably develop the coastal zone and guarantee national defense and security.

Coastal planning will also help ensure optimal and coordinated development between sectors in the exploitation and use of Vietnam's coastal resources, the conservation of nature and biodiversity, the preservation of cultural and historical values, and the improvement of climate resilience.

The master plan was developed based on integrating relevant national sectoral master plans within the coastal zone, but with adjustments and management of overlapping areas in terms of coastal space use to ensure harmony in the exploitation and use of natural resources, environmental protection, and sustainable development of coastal regions.

Vietnam has more than 3,260 kilometers of coastline, which provides great natural capital for economic growth. It offers significant potential for inshore and offshore wind energy production. To fulfill this enormous potential, Vietnam adopted a Resolution in 2018 on the strategy for sustainable marine economic growth in Vietnam to 2030, with a vision to 2045.

For that reason, developing a national marine spatial plan and a master plan for the sustainable exploitation and use of coastal resources is an essential solution.

To support the planning of maritime space for ocean sustainability and climate change response in Vietnam, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Norwegian Embassy in Hanoi have signed an agreement that will support the Vietnamese government in strengthening and implementing maritime spatial planning.