By 2020, Vietnam have established 11 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) although planned to have 16 MPAs by 2020 according to Prime Minister Decision No.472 dated May 26th 2010. This paper attempts to provide an overview of the current progress of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Vietnam using a combined quantitative and qualitative evaluation methodology. A cross analysis and evaluation of 8 MPAs was performed using a score - card survey where MPAs were scored by 44 indicators in a framework recommended by the IUCN - WCPA. The research was carried out at the national and local levels of coastal governance and employed various data collection methodologies including in - depth interviews, field observations, electronic survey and secondary data mining. To further confirm the evaluation results, a study of project stakeholders’ perceptions on the factors affecting the management effectiveness and sustainability of MPAs was conducted. Strong correlations between the results from the theory - based evaluations and the perception study were discovered. The most significant factors identified to improve MPA effectiveness include political will, sustainable financing, coordination mechanism, socio - economic contribution and obvious outcome.
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