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Cablegate: Vietnam: Support for Integrated Coastal Management

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000766

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES MARSHA GOLDBERG, FABIO SATURNI, JAMES STORY
STATE FOR OES STETSON TINKHAM
STATE PASS TO AID/ANE TIM RESCH, PATRICIA CHAPLIN
STATE PASS TO NOAA/OIA JONATHAN JUSTI
BANGKOK FOR ECON JIM WALLER
BANGKOK FOR AID/RDMA TBEANS, WBOWMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KSCA TBIO VM CVR
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: SUPPORT FOR INTEGRATED COASTAL MANAGEMENT

REF: HANOI 515

1. Summary. The Department of State's East Asia Pacific
Environmental Initiative (EAP-EI), USAID and the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have
supported the project Building Capacity for Integrated
Coastal Management (ICM) in the Tonkin Gulf in Quang Ninh
Province, Vietnam for several years. This project has been
an example of strong bilateral partnership support between
the United States and Vietnam. The project has also
involved China. The first phase of this four-phase strategy
began in 2002 and ends this spring. There is currently no
funding for the second phase of the project, but given its
success and the spin-off it engendered in Nha Trang (see
details in para. 6 below), the Vietnam Mission strongly
endorses providing additional funding to permit NOAA's
continued engagement in Vietnam. End Summary.

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2. Since 2002, the Department of State's EAP-EI, USAID and
NOAA have supported the project, "Building Capacity for
Integrated Coastal Management in the Tonkin Gulf," in Quang
Ninh Province, Vietnam. NOAA and the World Conservation
Union (IUCN) are carrying out the project in partnership
with Vietnam's Ministry of Fisheries (MOFI), the Hai Phong
Institute of Oceanography, and the Ha Long Bay Management
Authority of Quang Ninh Province. Various offices in NOAA,
USAID's US-Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP),
University of the City of Los Angeles (Reefcheck), and
University of New Hampshire (Sea Grant) are providing
technical support.

3. The annual United States-Vietnam Bilateral Science &
Technology Meeting has cited this project as an example of
strong bilateral partnership support with both science-based
and policy/management-driven outcomes. Specific project
accomplishments to date include: baseline socio-economic
assessments, habitat mapping of seagrasses and corals,
ecotourism planning workshops, policy and institutional
analysis, environmental awareness/public outreach materials,
translation of ICM technical documents into Vietnamese and
study exchanges to Charleston, the Florida Keys, Chesapeake
Bay and NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

4. The project activities were designed to share information
among stakeholders from central government agencies,
provincial planning departments and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) working in Ha Long Bay World Heritage
site as well as to build cooperation and programmatic
linkages among resource managers and institutions in the
United States, Vietnam, and China. For example, Chinese
technical experts used U.S.-funded equipment to install
mooring buoys in Vietnam. A study exchange of Vietnamese
officials to China in June 2005 is another example of the
project's regional linkages. During a recent meeting,
representatives of the Chinese State Oceanic Administration
formally welcomed closer cooperation and exchanges with
Vietnam regarding management of the Gulf of Tonkin.

5. The first phase of this four-phase strategy began in 2002
and ends this spring. There is currently no funding for the
second phase of the project. In December 2003, Embassy
Science Fellow Anne Walton (NOAA) developed a Strategic Plan
for Integrated Coastal management in the Northern Tonkin
Archipelago, which forms the basis for the next two phases
of the project (reftel). Limited activities such as a GVN-
funded study exchange to China's National Ocean Service will
continue in the interim. NOAA intends to submit a proposal
to STATE/OESI for Phase II project support.

6. One result of the STATE/USAID/NOAA ICM project has been
increased USG and NGO support for MOFI's mandate to develop
and manage a national marine protected area system. This
has led to a separate initiative for a pilot Marine
Protected Area Training and Certification Program in Hon Mun
MPA in Nha Trang. In partnership with MOFI, Danish
International Development Agency (DANIDA), USAID, IUCN,
Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), NOAA will have
the lead for the pilot MPA training and certification
program at Hon Mun MPA in Nha Trang. The two-year project
aims to develop local and regional capacity and expertise in
designating, implementing and managing MPAs with a major
emphasis on improving enforcement ability of Vietnam's newly
established MPAs.

7. Comment: NOAA has effectively built partnerships,
bridged traditional barriers and delivered tangible, highly
valued products here in Vietnam in a relatively short period
of time. NOAA's work with Vietnam and China has stimulated
improved dialogue between these two countries on marine
management and conservation in the Gulf of Tonkin. NOAA
also is the technical coordinator for a UNDP/Global
Environment Facility/NOAA initiative launched this year for
marine biodiversity conservation in China's southern seas.
Three of the sites for this initiative are in the greater
Tonkin Gulf region of China (Shankou, Weizhou and Sanya).
NOAA's simultaneous presence in Vietnam and China and its
credibility with both countries could lead to a new regional
management framework for the Gulf of Tonkin in the future.
Such a framework could help assuage the offshore territorial
concerns. The Vietnam Mission strongly endorses providing
funds for NOAA's continued engagement in the coastal Tonkin
Gulf region.

MARINE

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