Vietnam preps for plastic pollution treaty

06:00 | 14/08/2022 Environment

(VEN) - The Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands (VASI) has completed a draft plan to implement Prime Ministerial Decision 1407/QD-TTg on a project for Vietnam’s participation in a global treaty on ocean plastic pollution.

Coordination mechanism

The project sets out six main tasks, including capacity building for negotiations; information collection and database establishment; resources for negotiation preparation; establishing a coordination mechanism; mobilizing domestic and international support; and strengthening national roles and responsibilities.

The project aims to ensure sufficient conditions for resources as well as information and data to serve the preparation and participation in negotiations, ensuring the nation’s rights and interests in the prevention and reduction of ocean plastic pollution.

Under the Communist Party Central Committee’s Resolution 36-NQ/TW on the strategy for sustainable development of Vietnam's marine economy to 2030, with a vision towards 2045, one of the important goals is preventing and significantly reducing pollution of the marine environment, as well as pioneering in the region in reducing ocean plastic waste. One of the solutions under the strategy is joining important international treaties, giving priority to resource management and environmental protection in the immediate future, and promoting the formation of a regional and international cooperation framework on prevention and reduction of ocean plastic waste.

Moreover, the government's master plan and five-year plan for the implementation of the resolution also calls for promoting a regional and international cooperation framework on prevention and reduction of ocean plastic waste during the 2026-30 period.

According to the draft plan, Vietnam would develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation plans to attract support of other countries and international organizations, as well plans to host international forums, conferences and seminars, affirming Vietnam's responsibility and efforts in tackling global plastic pollution.

vietnam preps for plastic pollution treaty
vietnam preps for plastic pollution treaty
Collecting plastic waste on the beach

Urgent, drastic action

According to the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, with about 20 million tonnes of plastic dumped into the oceans every year, plastic waste control has become an urgent need to minimize the risk of affecting marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

In Vietnam, an estimated 3.7 million tonnes of plastic waste are discharged into the environment each year, only 10-15 percent of which is collected for recycling. About 730,000 tonnes of this waste are discharged into the sea, generating keen government interest in plastic waste pollution control and updated environmental protection policies.

Vietnam recently joined the Global Plastic Action Partnership and launched a national action plan for the management of marine plastic litter, aiming to reduce 75 percent of Vietnam’s marine plastic debris by 2030. By then, the country strives to eliminate the use of single-use plastics and non-biodegradable plastic bags from all coastal tourism areas.

However, according to the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands, ocean waste control is being hindered by lack of consistent coordination mechanisms among countries, and inadequate legal tools, supervision and financial policies.

The Administration’s plan is therefore important to prepare the necessary conditions and resources, and establish policies for coordination between relevant ministries, sectors and localities in Vietnam's negotiations and participation in the global agreement to combat marine plastic pollution.

Caitlin Wiesen, Chief Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Vietnam: The ocean is facing increasing threats and risks due to climate change, natural disasters, environmental pollution as a consequence of wastes, over-exploitation of natural resources and unsustainable economy, and plastic waste minimization has become an urgent need.

Thanh Tam