Posts by Nguyen Thuy Hang

Climate change impacts worsen in Mekong Delta

The environment in Mekong Delta is severely being affected by hasher natural disasters, water pollution and natural resources depletion, said a scholar.

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Flood rises due to loss of 1.7mln ha protection forest

Head of Policy Department of the Center for People and Nature (PanNature) Nguyen Thi Hai Van pointed out a loss of protection forest is the culprit of much flash flood and erosion lately.

At a meeting jointly-organized yesterday by PanNature, a Vietnamese not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving diversity of life and improving human well-being in Vietnam, and the Department of Special Use Forest and Protection Forest Management under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development discussed measures how to protect and restore protection forest in the country in a bid to prevent catastrophic flood.

Forests can retain excess rainwater, prevent extreme run-offs and reduce the damage from flooding. They can also help mitigate the effects of droughts.

Accordingly, Vietnam plans to raise the amount of protection forest to 5.68 million ha by 2020 with 93 percent of protection forest, citing the country’s forestry development strategy.

However, in reality, people are destroying drastically protection forest in localities in northwest, central highlands and south-central Vietnam; the size of the country’s protection forest is in fact decreasing at an alarm level. Loss of forest is the culprit for devastating flood for recent years.

Vietnam lost 1.7 million hectare of protection forest from 2004 to 2014 of which 1.43 million hectare of natural forest disappearing in the country. Worse, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development also submitted project of agriculture re-structuring by transferring 1.2 million hectare of forest and protected forest land for producing combined with growing forests.

As per PanNature’s announcement at the meeting, 1.288 million hectare of protection forest are managed by commune people’s committees which neglected management resulting in huge losses of protection forests.

Source: Vietnamnet

Panel Discussion about Vietnam’s Role in Taking Leadership to Collaborate on Water Use in the Mekong Basin

On November 4, PanNature along with the Henry L. Stimson Center and International Union for Conservation for Nature (IUCN) – hosted a panel discussion entitled, “Opportunities for Efficient Water Use in the Mekong Basin and Implications for Vietnam.” The panel discussion brought together participants from domestic and international civil society organizations, government and ministry representatives, as well as foreign diplomats to share their perspectives and opinions related to hydropower development in Laos, a landlocked country who’s ambition to become the “battery of Asia” brings concerns about the environmental sustainability of the entire region.

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Policy Seminar “Free trade agreements: Investment flows and environmental issues in Vietnam”

2016 marks 30 years since Doi Moi, the government policy that opened up Vietnam to the international community and spurred Vietnam’s integration into the global economy. As Vietnam continues to integrate economically, Vietnam is currently embarking on a new wave of integration through robust and comprehensive free trade agreements (FTAs). Vietnam has signed 14 FTAs, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest regional trade agreement in over 20 years, and the European Union-Vietnam FTA.

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Coal mine threat to Quang Ninh

Experts at a seminar here yesterday issued warnings about the uncontrolled exploitation of coal in Quang Ninh Province.

The seminar was held by the People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) shortly after the heaviest rains in 40 years hit the province, causing flooding, landslides and toxic sludge spills from open-cut mines.

The torrential caused sludge to flow into local communities and into Ha Long Bay, creating immediate and ongoing health and environmental hazards.

Workers clean the environment after the recent flood in Quang Ninh Province. Experts issued warnings about the uncontrolled exploitation of coal in the province. (Photo: laodong.com.vn)

Workers clean the environment after the recent flood in Quang Ninh Province. Experts issued warnings about the uncontrolled exploitation of coal in the province. (Photo: laodong.com.vn)

Do Thanh Bai, a member of the Chemical Society of Viet Nam, said the over exploitation of coal had created big changes in the province’s geomorphology. He said this caused severe damage to the economy and to the environment.

“Water pollution has become alarming,” Bai said. “Coal contains a lot of sulphur, which quickly pollutes water. In some areas, it also contains acid and heavy metals such as lead, zinc and mercury.

“This dissolves in the water, polluting the waters of Ha Long Bay. Water pollution also degrades soil in the province.”

Dr. Dao Trong Tu, director of the Centre for Sustainable Development of Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change (CEWAREC), said the coal-run Mao Khe Thermal Power Plant had heavily polluted the Gao River and caused huge impacts in the communes of Trang An and Xuan Son in Dong Trieu district.

Dr Tu said authorities had not found a sustainable solution to deal with the pollution in the stream.

Most mines run by the Viet Nam Coal Corporation are open cuts, meaning they are open to the air.

Cam Pha city stores the biggest quantity of sludge from the mines, about 60 million to 70 million cubic metres per year.

Bai said that to protect the environment, residue should be klept in a separate area from homes.Trees should be planted in between to limit pollution instead of simply covering the residue with canvas, which showed negligence by the investor and local authorities.

Bai said when the area was hit by floods, sludge from the mines washed into the local communities. He said it was important that the province restructure deposits of coal residue. — VNS

Dao Trong Hung from the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology, said that coal residue at Hoa Khanh district was 300m high, adding that this posed a threat to Ha Long Bay.

He said it was that Ha Long Bay was surrounded by thousands of hectares of open-face coal mines and multiple coal-fired power plants.

“I am afraid for the biodiversity of the bay. The toxins in the water will destroy various kind of aquatic life”, said Hung.

“Until now, the management board of the bay has not found an efficient solution to eradicate pollution.”

Hung said open-cut mining should be reduced around the major cities of Ha Long, Dong Trieu, Uong Bi. — VNS

Source: Vietnamnews

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