Opening Remarks by Ms. Akiko Fujii, Deputy Country Director, UNDP Viet Nam at GALA to celebrate 25 years of action for biodiversity


Mr. Hoang Van Thuc, Deputy Director General, Viet Nam Environment Administration
Mr. Nguyen Viet Dung, Director of Centre for Natural Resources and Environment Communication, MONRE
Debate Evaluation panel, Youth Union, Students,
Youth Connection Club, YVS Vietnam, and Hanoi Green company
And ladies and gentlemen, good evening,

It’s an honor and delight to be here at this important celebration Gala and Award Ceremony for the Winners of the Youth debate on biodiversity.

We are here this evening to celebrate 25 years of action for biodiversity and to recognize the accomplishments of the winners of the Youth debate on biodiversity.

At the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010 in Nagoya, the world leaders agreed to the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets. In 2011, the UN declared 2011-2020 as the UN Decades on Biodiversity, aiming to support the implementation of the Strategic plan for biodiversity and to promote its overall vision of living in harmony with nature. We are in the last three years of implementation. More actions are needed.

In September 2015, heads of States adopted new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This Agenda 2030 is a set of development goals for people, planet and prosperity. The SDGs and the Strategic Plan on biodiversity are mutually supportive and reinforcing, and therefore the implementation of one contributes to the achievement of the other.

UNDP worked with MONRE to develop the Law on Biodiversity, the Law on Environmental Protection and the National Strategy on Biodiversity. We also work at protected areas, Ramsar sites, and now biosphere reserves.

The global Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN, implemented by UNDP in more than 30 countries, sets the guiding principles towards closing the biodiversity financing gaps. In Viet Nam, we are piloting financing mechanism for nature museums and result-based budgeting instead of the traditional input based budgeting. UNDP promotes South South Cooperation and bring other countries’ experiences for Viet Nam’s solutions.

Among all the efforts towards biodiversity conservation, the youths play a critical role. Today is the evidence. We’re very impressed with the debate this afternoon. Out of 300 students, eight were selected for the final debate. And with only a limited time of preparation, you all have shown your deep understanding of the topics. You have shown the young generation’s knowledge, energy and creativity in protecting our planet. We are very proud of you.

At the closing of the debate in the afternoon, we have launched a new competition – online Speech Competition focusing on biodiversity finance mechanism and SDG 14 – Life below water & SDG 15 – Life on land. I do hope this competition will be promoted and participated by a wide range of students nationwide. It’ll be a forum for creative and innovative ideas and initiatives.

I would like to close with a special note of appreciation to our partners, MONRE – VEA, Centre for Natural Resources and Environment Communication in leading biodiversity conservation in Viet Nam.

To our winners, congratulations to you all. Today you have joined a big global community biodiversity conservation. I hope you will apply the knowledge and use for awareness raising.

To all governmental agencies, scientific organizations, social organizations, young students, youth unions. Congratulations on advancing the SDGs and Aichi targets on biodiversity.

And to the Youth Connection Club, YVS Vietnam, MC, singers & dancers, the event organizer and the mass media. Thank you for the successful organization of this gala.

Resilient planet needs healthy biodiversity & ecosystems, and UNDP is committed to supporting Viet Nam.

Thank you/ Xin cảm ơn