News

Saving the Highlands from drought

Intensifying the protection of forests in the Central Highlands from encroachment by hydro power plants, illegal deforestation and unplanned agricultural development would be the key to preserving water in this drought hit region, experts have said.

Read more →

Conference highlights impacts of water projects on Mekong delta

Along with the El Nino, projects in the Mekong River’s upstream, including hydropower plants, water-diverting and water-use works, are likely to pose serious impacts to the Mekong Delta, heard a conference held by the People and Nature Reconciliation in Hanoi on July 20.

Read more →

PanNature Discusses Public Participation and Environmental Impact Assessments with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Officials

During the morning of Friday, June 10, PanNature staff met with three government officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including U.S. EPA General Counsel, Avi Garbow; Senior Attorney in the Office of General Counsel, Steve Wolfson; as well as Director of the Office of Regional and Bilateral Affairs, Mark Kasman. The U.S. EPA is the lead government agency in protecting public health and the environment in the United States. The meeting was an opportunity for the U.S. EPA officials to gain the perspectives and insights of a local environmental non-governmental organization in Vietnam. Trinh Le Nguyen, Executive Director of PanNature, provided information about PanNature, its various projects around the country, its funding, as well as relationships with PanNature’s partners, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

Read more →

Polluting investment projects ‘slip through net’ as regulations remain unclear

No legal document specifying which technologies can or cannot not be imported to Vietnam exists. This ambiguity has hindered Vietnam from ‘filtering’ projects that could cause pollution.

Read more →

The water conflict on the Mekong

Located at the end of the Mekong River basin, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is currently experiencing the most severe drought and salinity intrusion in 100 years.
According to experts, the principal reason is development activities in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries related to the use of the Mekong River’s water resources, including the operation and construction of mega-dams along the river as well as water diversion for agricultural purposes. Thus far, after months of struggling in a record-breaking drought, millions of farmers in the Mekong Delta have succumbed to exhaustion, due to significant losses of crops, fruits and aquaculture. Part Two of the series examines the impacts of dam construction and other projects on the Mekong Delta.

Read more →

A Thirsty Mekong Delta

Located at the end of the Mekong River basin, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is currently experiencing the most severe drought and salinity intrusion in 100 years. According to experts, the principal reason is development activities in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries related to the use of the Mekong River’s water resources, including the operation and construction of mega-dams along the river as well as water diversion for agricultural purposes. Thus far, after months of struggling in a record-breaking drought, millions of farmers in the Mekong Delta have succumbed to exhaustion, due to significant losses of crops, fruits and aquaculture.

Read more →

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.

Through the reduction and elimination of tariffs as well as other barriers to trade, FTAs encourage the free flow of goods, services, and investments. According to economists and experts, Vietnam will benefit greatly from the implementation of its recently-concluded FTAs. The World Bank stipulates the TPP alone could add an estimated 10 percent to Vietnam’s GDP by 2030, mainly because of an expansion in export-oriented sectors.

Vietnam’s main economic sectors for export – and those industries that will benefit the most from economic integration – include electronic components, textiles and apparel, footwear, aqua-products, and furniture. To take advantage of the reduced tariffs included in Vietnam’s recently-concluded FTAs, foreign companies are investing in various manufacturing industries. Recent statistical data by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam suggest that there is a strong movement of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam in anticipation of these FTAs.

However, while FTAs and FDI may benefit Vietnam economically, industrial growth spurred by free trade – especially in highly-polluting industries such as textiles and leather – has brought about numerous environmental challenges. In practice, many FDI projects utilize outdated technologies, contain high environmental risks, and invest in Vietnam given its lax environmental regulations.

Under this context, 2016 marks a pivotal time to discuss the adaptability of Vietnam’s environmental management policies, in particular how Vietnam should improve its policy framework to minimize environmental and legal risks during the trade liberalization process. In order to facilitate discussion among numerous stakeholders, the People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) is organizing a policy seminar entitled, “Free trade agreements: Investment flows and environmental issues.” Vietnam can and should utilize these free trade agreements to further develop economically and socially; however, Vietnam should not damage its environment in the process.

Some pictures from the seminar: 

270516_Hoithaochuyendichdautu2

270516_Hoithaochuyendichdautu

Agenda and presentations: 

Viet Nam urged to tighten resource consumption tax

At a conference held by PanNature at the end of last month, experts said that budget collections from mineral mining activities were not proportional to the exploitation scales. Statistics of the Ministry of Finance revealed that natural resources exploitation (excluding oil) contributed merely between 0.9 per cent and 1.1 per cent to the State budget from 2011 to 2015.

Read more →

Mining-sourced tax collection needs improvements

Tax collected from the mining of natural resources, excluding crude oil, accounted for between 0.9 – 1.1 percent of the total state tax collections in the 2011-2013, according to the Ministry of Finance.

The amount is a far cry from the scale of exploitation activities, said delegates to a workshop held by People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) on May 13.

Read more →

Vietnam should reconsider all environmental regulations: experts

Foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction has marked a new phase in Vietnam and it is time for the country to reconsider all environmental regulations. Economic benefits should not be bartered at all costs, said experts at a seminar on industrial discharge in Hanoi yesterday by PanNature.

Read more →
People and Nature Reconciliation | Office: 24 H2, Khu do thi moi Yen Hoa
Yen Hoa quarter, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: ++844 3556-4001 | Fax: ++844 3556-8941 | Email: contact@nature.org.vn