In 29 and 30 of May 2008, PanNature organized a two-day workshop entitled “Development and Environmental Trade-off in Vietnam’s Context” to share experience and results of field missions and discuss emerging environmental issues among journalists and other experts. 23 environmental journalists and reporters from selected national and provincial news agencies joined this workshop, including those involved in field investigation missions organized by the Editorial Board of ThienNhien.Net.
In addition, four environmental experts and activists also joined and gave presentations in this workshop. These include the former Minister of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (Mr. Mai Ai Truc), a famous writer on Central Highland issues (Mr. Nguyen Ngoc), the former Director of Dalat Nuclear Research Institute (Professor Pham Duy Hien), the Director of Consultancy on Development (Mr. Pham Quang Tu, who is working on advocacy efforts on mining issues in the Central Highland), and one representative from the newly established Environmental Police Department.
The first day of the workshop focused on bringing existing and emerging environmental issues into discussions, such as uncontrolled migration and loss of forests, serious degradation of mangrove forests in the Mekong Delta and impacts on local livelihoods, mining and potential environmental and social conflicts, hydro-power development and energy needs, and environmental trade-off in development projects. Participating journalists also had opportunities to discuss interested issues with invited experts during the break sessions of the workshops.
Former Minister Mai Ai Truc answering journalists during the tea-break interview
The second day of the workshop was for two field trips to two large golf courses in Luong Son district (Hoa Binh province). Participating journalists observed the conditions of these golf courses and interviewed with local people and authorities about environmental and social impacts of these projects. After the field trips, PanNature team and participating journalists shared and discussed in details about the current problems of â€œgolf course crisisâ€ in Vietnam. Results of these field trips and discussions are strong coverage of the golf course issues on national media after this workshop.
This workshop is funded by the Democrary Small Grant of the American Embassy in Vietnam and Foundation for Open Society Institute.