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Results Briefs June 7, 2019

Management of Coastal Resources for Sustainable Development: Greater Resilience, Better Livelihoods - Vietnam’s Experience

Millions of Vietnamese people have relied on coastal resources for their livelihoods, but they are increasingly at risk due to dwindling marine resources and growing environmental problems. With World Bank support, 40 districts across eight provinces in Vietnam have used an inter-sectoral planning tool for better fisheries management, which has helped improve the balance between economic development and protecting marine ecosystems.

World Bank Group

Millions of Vietnamese people are relying on coastal resources for their livelihoods, but they are increasingly at risk due to dwindling marine resources and growing environmental problems. With World Bank support, eight coastal provinces in Vietnam have used an inter-sectoral planning tool to improve fisheries management, which has helped balance and improve both, the provinces’ economic development and the sustainability of marine ecosystems.


Vietnam is one of the top aquaculture producing and exporting countries in the world. In early 2010s, the fisheries sector was facing risks of a depleting resources base for marine fisheries and increased disease and environmental pollution. Responsibilities for coastal zone planning cut across different sectors. Planners and policy-makers used to operate based on limited data, including estimates of available fish stocks, patterns of fish catches, and number of fishing boats operating in different locations. Within each province, different sectors often competed against each other instead of collaborating, which led to duplicate investments and inconsistent or conflicting plans and approaches. Anticipated private investments were often not reflected in Government’s plans.

There was an urgent need to shift the country’s fisheries development strategy from meeting (ever increasing) production and catch volume targets to improving management of coastal resources, risk management and resilience, and product quality and value addition.


The project has supported target provinces to move from fragmented sectoral planning to an integrated spatial planning (ISP) for better management of coastal resources and to reduce conflicts in planning among sectors. Building on the ISP foundation, good practices for sustainable aquaculture and fisheries co-management have been promoted to improve livelihoods for coastal communities.

In aquaculture, the project has promoted and facilitated the adoption of Good Aquaculture Practice (GAP) among producers and strengthened a range of public services, including bio-security, veterinary measures, waste management and environmental monitoring. In capture fisheries, the project has supported the development and implementation of fisheries co-management by local fishing communities along provincial coastlines and together with strengthening the public monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS). Finally, the project has adopted decentralized and participatory approaches with priority to supporting women and ethnic minority groups through developing additional livelihoods and improving community environmental sanitation.


  • After six years of implementation (2012 to 2018), the project has successfully achieved its development objective, including better management of coastal fisheries and aquaculture. More specifically, the project has successfully implemented ISP in all 40 coastal districts and 257 coastal communes in the eight project provinces. The project has also upgraded the country’s fisheries database system to improve the management and governance of the fisheries sector.
  • 82 GAP zones have been established with improved biosecurity infrastructure and proper waste treatment systems in place, directly involving 13,109 participating aquaculture farmers with an area of 16,956 ha.
  • Environmental monitoring and disease management have been strengthened; 55 shrimp hatcheries accredited of meeting the required biosecurity; one new specific pathogen free (SPF) hatchery area developed, farmer adoption of quality seed reached 91 percent; farms having proper wastewater treatments and good sediment handling reached 86 percent (increasing from 9 percent at appraisal in 2012); disease losses reduced by 80 percent, and profit for farmers increased 76 percent.
  • 97 fisheries co-management groups have been established over 803 km of coastlines, involving 13,751 local fishing households; three Locally Managed Marine Areas (nearly 90,000) with high biodiversity values established and operational in Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa; 28 MCS field stations established and strengthened; fishing violations in the project area reduced by 30 percent.
  • 21 fishing ports and landing sites have been upgraded with improved hygienic conditions, safe fish handling and operational efficiency; postharvest losses reduced from 35 percent in year 2012 to 15 percent in year 2018. 
  • Last but not least, 13 selected studies have been carried out, which have contributed to effective implementation of the Fisheries Strategy and Fisheries Masterplan to 2020; and informed the amendment of the Fisheries Law which was passed by the National Assembly in November 2017 (i.e. introducing fisheries co-management and rights allocation to local communities).

Bank Group Contribution

US$100.0 million of IDA Credit in total were provided to finance all key activities of all project components, including institutional capacity strengthening for sustainable fisheries management, good practices for sustainable aquaculture, sustainable management of near-shore capture fisheries, and project management, monitoring and evaluation. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) contributed a US$ 6.5 million Grant to finance ISP and fisheries co-management. Around US$6.2 million were contributed from local farmers and fishers, and US$11.7 million from the Government of Vietnam (GOV).


The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Cooperation Program (FAO-CP) provides technical assistance to GOV in developing and adopting biosecurity standards for shrimp aquaculture, hatcheries, nearshore fisheries co-management, and upgrading fishing ports and landing sites.

Moving Forward

The experience and lessons from the project have contributed to the development of the new Master Plan for Fisheries Sector Development - Vision to 2030; the amendments of the Fisheries Law; and informed the World Bank in the design of its longer- term engagement strategy to further support Vietnam’s fisheries sector. GOV is expressing its interest to receive further support from the World Bank and developing partners for a follow-on fisheries project to modernize its fisheries sector drawing the lessons from the Coastal Resources for Sustainable Development project, especially about integrated spatial planning, sustainable aquaculture development, fisheries resources co-management, and fisheries infrastructure development to promote sustainable growth and contribute to poverty reduction and shared prosperity.


Mr. Pham Van Chạy – a farmer of a shrimp group at Phuoc Thang commune of Binh Dịnh claimed that thanks to the project support his net income now has increased by 6-8 times.

A fisheries co-management group No.2 in Ha Tinh has 230 members. About 85% of its members reply on fishing as the main source of income. After 2 years of adopting fisheries co-management, the number of households who used to practice destructive fishing within the group has dropped from 41 (in 2016) to 6 (in 2018). With the project support, they have changed to environmentally friendly fishing gears.


Lợi nhuận của người nông dân tăng 76% do sử dụng giống có chất lượng, xử lý nước tốt hơn, và giảm được 80% tổn thất do bệnh dịch.