Vietnam is a coastal country in Southeast Asia with a population of over 80 million. Although Vietnam has long been listed among the poorest countries of the world, it has recently made large strides in reducing poverty and improving food security. However, the dramatic gains in poverty reduction in Vietnam still remain quite fragile. There is growing evidence to indicate that dependence on aquatic resources is correlated to poverty, and that aquatic resources constitute an important component of wider livelihoods strategies (largely from the Mekong Delta, Central Coast and the Northern Mountains).

A major impediment to poor people’s entry into the aquaculture sector is in terms of service providers’ ability to effectively target support based upon an assessment of poor people’s needs, their constraints and potential. Simple aquaculture technologies that are appropriate to poor people are largely in place but require greater effort in terms of extension and the provision of choice. The key objectives of STREAM Vietnam will be to:

  • Develop capacity to utilise participatory approaches among service providers and a framework to understand aquatic resources use in poor communities.
  • Create awareness of aquatic resources management and diversified livelihoods alternatives among poor aquatic resources users.
  • Highlight the importance of poor people’s access to credit.
  • Mainstream gender issues.
  • Promote more effective methods in monitoring and evaluation.
  • Build fisheries and agriculture extension system capacity to improve the livelihoods of poor aquatic resources users.
  • Policy implementation through support of SAPA.
  • Facilitate two-way knowledge-sharing across Asia-Pacific and throughout Vietnam.
  • Publicise the new Fisheries Law and Environment Protection Law, and their implications for poor aquatic resources users.

The implementation of this Country Strategy Paper will depend on availability of funds committed by donor parties and projects in collaboration with STREAM. In addition, the initiative will actively explore ways in which it can work with other stakeholders to ensure all available resources are effectively and efficiently used to address the key issues and constraints identified in this document.

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