13:00 | 26/03/2021 Environment
(VEN) - Vietnam has made major strides this past year in environmental protection as a pillar of sustainable development through legislation and a dramatic shift from awareness to action.
|A recyclable trash collection point in Hanoi|
Changes in awareness
The revised Law on Environmental Protection passed last year is a comprehensive, synchronous policy breakthrough which has made environmental protection a pillar of the sustainable development process. It has established a comprehensive legal corridor in biodiversity protection, management of genetically modified organisms and of imported scraps used as raw production materials. The law has contributed to developing strategic planning for national environmental protection and national biodiversity conservation to restore and protect the ecosystem for future generations.
In 2020, thanks in part to the media, environmental protection has improved and extended from awareness to action. State management agencies have gradually renewed their thinking, shifting from passive response to proactive control and monitoring of waste sources, ensuring environmental safety and making a positive contribution to the country’s growth.
In addition, public data about air environment quality have made significant progress. The VN Air app on mobile devices provides updates on the Vietnam Air Quality Index (VNAQI), and automatic monitoring management software (Envisoft) was provided to management agencies to track, manage and monitor environmental monitoring data across the country.
The rate of solid waste collected and treated in inner city areas reached about 92 percent, and 66 percent in suburban areas. Many localities have treated waste through incineration to generate power, instead of landfills, and are implementing 12 projects with a capacity of nearly 15,000 tonnes a day. The rate of industrial zones (IZs) with wastewater treatment systems reached 90 percent, a 12.7 percent increase compared to 2016, of which the number of IZs having installed automatic wastewater monitoring equipment reached 78.2 percent, up 50 percent compared to 2016.
In 2020, local environmental management agencies also worked closely with relevant agencies to detect and strictly handle 12,000 environmental violation cases (down 4.26 percent over 2019). Information campaigns to raise awareness in the community have made a dramatic change in awareness and responsibility for environmental protection, prompting broad response in the prevention and reduction of plastic waste.
Vietnam aims to crack down on all establishments causing serious environmental pollution; collect and treat 90 percent of total domestic solid waste generated in urban areas; collect and treat all hazardous solid waste generated by manufacturing and service activities, medical establishments and craft villages. Plans for the coming years also call for collection, reuse and recycling of all ordinary industrial solid wastes and for 70 percent of total ash, slag and gypsum generated by power plants, chemical plants, and fertilizers to be recycled, reused and processed as raw materials for production and construction materials.
To achieve that goal, Vietnam will strengthen environmental management of IZs, industrial clusters, and craft villages; apply sanctions against polluting enterprises; promote preferential land, tax and interest rate incentives for the development of a circular, green economy; develop environmental industry, environmental protection and recycling services; attract investment in inter-regional waste recycling and treatment zones; promote the development of urban areas, IZs and export processing zones under a circular model with low emissions.
In addition, Vietnam will develop an environmental monitoring system; intensify programs and plans to protect the environment, control and relocate pollution sources, reduce emission standards for vehicles; ensure green and public space standards in urban and residential areas, especially in big cities.
Despite the Covid-19 impact, Vietnam’s domestic environmental protection activities and international integration activities continued to expand in 2020. Vietnam proposed various initiatives on a global and regional scale for solving ocean plastic waste pollution, responding to climate change and cross-border environmental pollution.