Wednesday , April 24 2024

UK environment secretary in Vietnam to boost cooperation

U.K. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Thérèse Coffey visited Vietnam on April 12-13 to strengthen bilateral cooperation on agriculture, climate, and wildlife.

The secretary met her Vietnamese counterpart, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan, to discuss bilateral trade in agriculture, food and beverages, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize cooperation on the U.K.’s Biodiverse Landscapes Fund (BLF) in Vietnam on Wednesday.

The BLF focuses on encouraging sustainable livelihoods and agriculture models, reducing poverty, promoting ecotourism, and tackling the illegal wildlife trade. 

“The Fund will support six vital biodiversity hotspots across the globe, which are so threatened by climate change,” Coffey said. “In Vietnam, it will help support sustainable livelihoods while protecting nature across the Lower Mekong.”

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, this will further deepen our partnership to deliver the targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework and deepen the cooperation which is already tackling the scourge of the illegal wildlife trade,” Coffey said at the signing ceremony.

During her stay in Vietnam, the U.K. secretary also had a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha and representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to strengthen bilateral cooperation in responding to the impact of climate change, the U.K. Embassy said in a statement.

Coffey said that the United Kingdom is “delighted” to be working to support Vietnam’s leadership on biodiversity and climate with £17.8 million (US$22.23 million) invested in seven official development assistance (ODA) projects in Vietnam on forestry and carbon market, sustainable aquaculture practices, sustainable livelihood models, reducing plastic pollution, protecting biodiversity and especially the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which will help Vietnam achieve its climate and net zero emissions commitment by 2050.

While in Vietnam, the U.K.environment secretary also visited the Cuc Phuong National Park in northern Ninh Binh Province, the base of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife – a local non-governmental organization working to champion the recovery of threatened species in Vietnam.

Save Vietnam’s Wildlife was awarded £1 million by the U.K. Government in 2022 for their project to dismantle the illegal pangolin trade in Vietnam. 

The U.K. is Vietnam’s third largest commerce partner in Europe, after Germany and the Netherlands.

Bilateral trade between the two countries reached $5.2 billion in the first nine months of this year, a 5.7% increase year-on-year, according to data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs. The U.K. is also the 9th largest export market for Vietnam and has 485 FDI projects in the country worth around $4.2 billion.

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