Environmental pollution control: The world’s experiences and Vietnam’s efforts

08:03 | 11/10/2013 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Many countries in the world have paid special attention to combining efforts to promote economic growth and protect the environment. Clean, environmentally friendly technological solutions have become the choice of industrial production groups and businesses.

The wastewater treatment system of the Yen Bai Trading, Processing and Exported Forest Products Joint-Stock Company

The experiences of Japan and the RoK

In Japan, from 1950-1960, the rapid development of industrial production led to increased environmental pollution and deteriorated the living environment, affecting human health and the development of the country. The Japanese government had improved the legal system and established a state management agency in the field of environment in order to deal simultaneously with three problems: minimizing environmental pollution, reducing the cost of pollution control and expenses on human health, and lowering the production cost and energy use.

Japan had promulgated strict regulations on waste standards to ensure effective control of water, air pollution. Notably, it had intensified education to improve the community awareness about environmental protection and encourage businesses and organizations to take part in environmental pollution prevention and control activities. Laws in the fields of air, water and soil pollution control, noise prevention, odor control, and nature conservation laws had been effectively implemented. Thanks to these efforts, Japan is currently known as one of the world’s leading countries with a green, sustainable and environmentally friendly economy.

In the Republic of Korea (RoK), a country with developed industries, in 2008, the government announced its national strategy for low-carbon green growth. Under this strategy, the RoK had spent two percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on activities related to green growth, double the level recommended by the United Nations. Many RoK businesses have successfully developed green information technology.

Vietnam’s efforts

In July 2012, the Vietnamese government officially approved the National Green Growth Strategy via Decision 1393/QD-TTg. Under this strategy, Vietnam has made great efforts towards the goals of green growth and a low-carbon economy. Along with boosting socioeconomic growth, it has paid much attention to reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and improving the greenhouse gas absorption capability. Before that, the government and the national assembly promulgated and approved many policies related to environmental protection and pollution control, for example the Environmental Protection Law, the Mineral Law, the Law on Energy Efficiency and Conservation, the Cleaner Production in Industry Strategy towards 2020, and the Plan for Environmental Industry Development. The implementation of these laws, strategies and plans has contributed to improving pollution control and the awareness of the social community, businesses and management authorities from the central level to the local level about the need to protect the environment for sustainable growth.

During six years (2005-2011) implementing the Cleaner Production in Industry (CPI) Component with the financial support from the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), the Ministry of Industry and Trade made 61 cleaner production assessments for businesses in target provinces; 45 demonstration projects were carried out in target provinces with investment support; 11 workshops were organized in non-target provinces to provide instructions for making cleaner production action plans. Through demonstration projects which have been implemented, businesses could save about 11 percent of water consumption, 12 percent of electricity, 21 percent of coal, 14 percent of fuel oil, 23 percent of chemicals, and considerably reduced CO2 emissions.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has implemented an energy efficiency and conservation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) project, contributing to minimizing CO2 emissions. From 2005 to June 2011, 543 energy efficiency and conservation projects were developed in 25 provinces and cities in five industries: bricks and tiles, ceramics and pottery, textiles and garments, paper and pulp, and food processing. As a result of these projects, 232,000 tonnes of oil equivalent (TOEs) had been saved and CO2 emissions had been reduced by 944,000 tonnes, leading to a 10-50 percent decrease in the production cost, helping SMEs increase productivity by 30 percent and enhance their competitiveness.

In the current context, to achieve green growth goals, Vietnam very much needs the assistance from the international community. The experience, technology, human and material resources of governmental and nongovernmental organizations will help Vietnam achieve its millennium development goals as well as sustainable economic growth./.

Minh Ky

Theo ven.vn