Minimising the adverse impacts of development projects on the environment and natural resources is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed urgently, experts said at a workshop in Hanoi on November 14. Prioritising development projects, especially the construction of industrial parks and hydropower plants, without paying attention to biodiversity conservation and environmental protection has negative consequences for the environment and society.
The Financial Times recently published an article entitled China: The road to reform. The first sentence reads: “For those who have to endure the toxic smog of northern China, it often comes as a surprise to learn that Chinese environmental laws and emissions regulations are some of the most stringent in the world.”
In what was apparently a face-saving move, Vietnam opted to withdraw its nomination of a major national park for UNESCO heritage status two days ahead of an annual session that opened June 16 in Cambodia. But even if Vietnam had gone ahead with nominating the Cat Tien National Park, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization would have probably rejected it following a recommendation to the effect by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).