Institutionalization of Communities’ and CSOs’ Roles Helps Strengthen Environmental Protection

HANOI, 26 August 2014 – People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) organizes an one-day workshop featuring the theme “Institutionalizing Roles of Communities and CSOs in Environmental Governance in Vietnam”, which aims at facilitating discussions and proposals about realizing legal space for participation of CSOs and communities in environmental protection.

Vietnam’s Amendment Law on Environmental Protection was approved by the National Assembly on June 23rd 2014 and will be in effect from January 1st 2015. The Law is expected to have significant influence in terms of enhancing roles of communities and CSOs in managing, monitoring and protecting the environment.

Responsibilities to protect the environment of Vietnam Fatherland Front, socio-political and professional organizations as well as local communities are defined in Chapter XV of the Law. The Law requires project developers to hold public consultation with participation of agencies, organizations and communities that are directly affected by project activities. This important aspect of the new law opens opportunities for citizens and CSOs to actively and positively involve in the decision making processes of development projects and help minimize negative social and environmental impacts from development activities.

“To ensure effectiveness and expected impacts for the environment and society of the new law, roles of CSOs and communities need to be defined clearly in under-law regulations and policies. There should be transparent mechanisms for CSOs and affected communities to participate in dialogues, consultations in the decision-making processes, especially in those related to environmental impact assessment. This will help present potential social and environmental impacts from development projects, as well as reduce the risk of environmental conflicts over the long term.” – said Mr. Trinh Le Nguyen, Executive Director of PanNature.

During the workshop, discussions focus mainly on how to institutionalize roles of CSOs and communities under the new law. Participants also share their practical experiences and case studies on the involvement of different stakeholders, including communities, media and CSOs in environmental monitoring and management.

There are about 120 representatives from government agencies, elected bodies, NGOs, research institutions, journalists and local communities participating in this workshop.

The workshop is part of a series of activities with aim to support raising public concerns and media engagement for more vibrant policy debates in Vietnam, which is supported by the British Embassy Hanoi via the Asia Foundation (TAF).

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Do Hai Linh
Communication Manager
PanNature
Phone: (04) 3556-4001, ext 112
Email: linh@nature.org.vn


Workshop Sponsors

British Embassy Hanoi: The UK and Vietnam set up their diplomatic relations in 1973. The two countries entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement in 2010, demonstrating the breadth and depth of existing cooperation and shared level of ambition for the future.
Website: www.gov.uk/government/world/vietnam
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ukinvietnam

The Asia Foundation is a non-profit international development organization committed to improving lives and mutual benefits between The United State of America and the dynamic and developing Asia Pacific. In Vietnam, from 2000, The Asia Foundation supports programs to advance effective governance, facilitate economic dialogue and private sector development, address environment and climate change challenges, empower women and human resource’s capacity, and improve international relations.
Website: www.asiafoundation.org/country/overview/vietnam

Workshop Organizer

People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) is a Vietnamese not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving diversity of life and improving human well-being in Vietnam by seeking, promoting and implementing feasible, nature-friendly solutions to important environmental problems and sustainable development issues.
Website: www.nature.org.vn
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PanNature

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