News

Economic growth depletes resources

Experts have decried the excessive focus on economic development that has severely depleted the nation’s natural resource base, and called for urgent measures to redress the problem.

Ways to balance the country’s socio-economic development with preservation and efficient use of natural resources topped the agenda of a two-day conference that ended Wednesday in HCM City.

The conference on Environmental Policy in the Context of Development in Viet Nam was organised by PanNature (People and Nature Reconciliation), a Vietnamese non-profit organisation established by Vietnamese environmental professionals with support from the Ford Foundation.

Nguyen Ngoc Tran, former deputy head of the National Assembly’s External Relations Committee, said many localities had paid more attention to economic development than environmental issues. As a result, environmental pollution had seriously increased, becoming a big challenge during the development process.

Degraded ecosystems

Pham Quang Tu, director of the Institute for Development Consultancy, agreed with Tran, saying that the lack of a master plan and supervisory mechanism for natural resources exploitation had contributed to the degrading of the country’s ecosystems.

“Besides, the law on environmental protection contains many loopholes and unreasonable regulations while penalties are not heavy enough to prevent people from violating the rules,” Tu added.

Participants at the meeting agreed that in the context of globalisation, the nation’s legal system on social-economic development and environmental protection must be more comprehensive to ensure sustainable development.

Calling for investment was a top priority for developing the country, but it should not mean that the country was willing to sacrifice the environment, they said.

Tran said: “To develop sustainably, we must pay special attention to protecting the environment; and use and maintain natural resources reasonably, otherwise it would have serious consequences for our next generations.”

He suggested that relevant agencies from the central to grassroot levels co-ordinate with each other in planning investment projects and monitoring compliance of environmental protection regulations by enterprises.

Authorities should encourage the development of clean production projects to reduce adverse impacts on the environment, Tran said. He also emphasised the role of the mass media in raising awareness of the people, the community and senior administrators about the need for environmental protection.

Regarding plans by some localities to put “low-value” forests to other uses, Nguyen Chi Thanh, former director of the Southern Forest Planning and Investigation Sub-institute, recommended that they carefully conduct a cost-benefit analysis before making such decisions.

Source: Vietnam News

Workshop on the Role of Civil Society Organizations in Economic and Social Development in Mountainous Areas

“The role of civil society organizations in economic and social development in mountainous areas” workshop was organized October 21st, 2008 in Hanoi by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), in collaboration with Institute for Social Research, Center for Promoting Development for Women and Children (DWC), Center for Sustainable Development in Mountainous Areas (CSDM), Centre of Research and Development in Upland Area (CERDA), and People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature).

Workshop banner

The objective of the workshop aims to enhance awareness and exchange views on the role of civil society organizations in socio-economic development at provincial level and support for ethnic minorities in mountainous areas. The workshop introduced an overview of civil society in Vietnam as well as mechanisms to help civil society organizations connect with other state agencies to contribute ideas, analysis and discussions on policies and laws relating to ethnic and development issues in mountainous areas.

Workshop participants

In addition, CSDM, CERDA, DWC and PanNature also presented their viewpoints, development methodologies, and specific examples from field projects in order to reflect the practical lessons on socio-economic development in mountainous areas and raising awareness of local communities on development issues. Throughout these presentations, different approaches of participating CSOs became clear. DWC uses a right-based approach with participation of local communities and available resources. CERDA begins by identifying difficulties of local communities and consequently concentrates on appropriate solutions. CSDM carries out their approach through establishing and developing networks in local communities, such as performance – communication groups, traditional medicine practitioner groups, and indigenous knowledge conservation and development groups. PanNature introduced their specific view on access to natural resources after forest land allocation. The workshop ended with a round table discussion on formulating civil society organization networks, capacity of these organizations, as well as approaches for developing and operating successful networks on ethnic and mountainous issues. By Hai Van

Notice: PanNature’s office phone number changed

As of 19 October 2008, the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) has changed all fixed phone number in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and other 53 provinces and cities by adding an extra number “3” at the beginning the current number. For more information, please visit http://www.vnpt.com.vn.

Our office numbers is automatically changed to: 04 3 556-4001 (phone) and 04 3 556-8941 (fascimile).

If you call from outside of Vietnam, our office phone number should be: ++84 4 3 556-4001; fascimile: ++84 4 3 556-8941.

PanNature

Facilitating Development of Local Environmental Protection Action Plans

In August and September 2008, PanNature conducted field surveys and organized environmental protection planning workshops in Bac Me and Hoang Su Phi districts of Ha Giang province within the framework of the Chia Se Project (Vietnam – Sweden Poverty Reduction Program, managed by the Ministry of Investment and Planning).

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In-house News: Farewell and Welcome

In September, PanNature welcomed new faces joining the team. Ms. Dao Thu Hien and Ms. Nguyen Thanh Van are experiencing start-up work in their probation terms. Both Hien and Van graduated from the Department of Environmental Science of Hanoi National University of Natural Sciences.

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Simple water filters bring clean water for villagers

This activity was firstly implemented from 30th April till 30th May 2008 in three villages namely, Khau lan (Quyet Tien commune), Lang Tan 2 (Thanh Van Commune), Lung Tam Thap (Lung Tam Commune) in Quan Ba district of Ha Giang province. It is part of the Environmental Awareness Piloting Programme implemented by PanNature for the Quan Ba District Integrated Community Development Project of Caritas Switzerland.

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Launching of the Publication “Field Guide to the Large Mammals of Vietnam”

People and Nature Reconciliation has launched the publication “Field Guide to the Large Mammals of Vietnam”. This publication is printed in both Vietnamese and English languages with financial support from the World Bank/Netherlands Partnership Program and the Sida Environment Fund (SEF).

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Journalist Worshop Discussed Development and Environmental Trade-off in Vietnam’s Context

In 29 and 30 of May 2008, in Luong Son district (Hoa Binh province), PanNature hosted the journalist workshop to share thoughts and experience with the media on the theme “Development and Environmental Trade-off in Vietnam’s Context” . Environmental experts and journalists got together, discussed and agreed that environmental values should not be sacrified merely for economic benefits.

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PanNature Welcomed Lauren Child in Quan Ba

From 14 to 16 April 2008, PanNature received a distinguished visitor from the United Kingdom – world-renowned children’s author Lauren Child. The visiting team, including Lauren, her friend Adrian Darbishsire, and Katja Pellini from UNESCO Vietnam, spent two days in Quan Ba district of Ha Giang province.

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Awareness Assessment of Coastal Zone Management and General Environmental Issues in Soc Trang

PanNature is working with the GTZ project to assess level of awareness and understanding of sustainable coastal zone management and general environmental issues of different stakeholders of the project. In addition to carrying out field assessment in three districts of Soc Trang province, PanNature also train staff of the district project teams on assessment techniques and data analysis skills.

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People and Nature Reconciliation | Office: 24 H2, Khu do thi moi Yen Hoa
Yen Hoa quarter, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: ++8424 3556-4001 | Fax: ++8424 3556-8941 | Email: contact@nature.org.vn