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Innovation in environmental management is needed to reduce pollution

Innovation in environmental management is needed to reduce pollution

Environmental management innovation needed to reduce pollution

The environment is under great pressure due to socio-economic activities. This has led to an increase in pollution of both quantity and scale. It is time for more effective solutions.

Environmental management innovation needed to reduce pollution
Nam Rom River, northern mountainous Dien Bien Province, is severely polluted. This has a serious impact on the living conditions of local residents. VNA/VNS Photo

In recent years, the main sources of pollution have been increasing are extreme weather, pollution hotspots in river basins, and air polluting.

Experts say that while extreme weather phenomena were once only seen in certain seasons, they now occur throughout the year. This includes severe cold spells in the northern mountains, drought and rains across the central region, and droughts and saltwater intrusions in the south.

Vietnam experienced 16 types of natural disasters in 2020. These included storms and whirlwinds as well as flash floods and flash floods, landslides and earthquakes, drought, saltwater intrusion and flash floods. This caused great property and human loss.

Vietnam was struck by eight storms, three low tropical pressure fronts, 109 small earthquakes, 140 heavy rains, flash floods, and 157 landslides on riversides in the first 10 months of 2021. The total damage was estimated to have exceeded VND1.4 trillion (US$60million).

Droughts and saltwater intrusion are becoming more severe. 2016 saw the worst drought and saltwater infiltration in more than 90 years. It affected 50 cities and provinces. Many localities were forced to declare an emergency state of drought or saline intrusion.

In the 2019-2020 dry period, saltwater intrusion impacted 10 of 13 Mekong Delta provinces, causing water scarcity for nearly 96,000 households.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment reported that there was an increase in pollution at major canals, especially at the Bac Hung Hai irrigation scheme. This system includes a main dredged channel of more than 232km and branch canals of approximately 2,000km. There are also dams and pumping stations that span the three northern provinces of Hai Duong and Hung Yen.

Untreated wastewater from factories, craft villages, and residential areas has seriously polluted the irrigation system due to rapid industrialization and urbanization in the area over the past few decades.

According to Hoang Van Thuc (Deputy Head of Vietnam Environment Administration), the total amount emitted into the Bac Hai Hai system was over 453,000 cubic meters per day.

Over 58% of household wastewater came from residential areas. Nearly 60% of household wastewater that was discharged into the system was untreated.

Air pollution

Air pollution remains a hot topic of public concern, especially in large cities, urban areas, and industrial zones.

According to the Vietnam Environment Administration the PM10 & PM2.5 concentrations were 1.1-2.2x higher than the threshold set by the Vietnam government during 2018-20, according to all Hanoi automatic observation station data.

Vietnam registered 10 of 63 provinces or cities with higher PM2.5 concentrations than the national mandate in 2020

The main sources of PM2.5 pollution in Vietnam are from burning agricultural byproducts, cooking, transport and forest fires, as well as industrial activities and thermal energy.

According to the biennial Environmental Performance Index, which is compiled by scientists from US universities Yale and Columbia, Vietnam ranks 115th for air quality for household solid fuel use and PM2.5 exposure.

According to the World Health Organization air pollution is one of most dangerous environmental risks to our health. Countries can reduce the incidence of diseases like stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, lung cancer, asthma, and both acute and chronic respiratory diseases.

According to the organisation, around 60,000 Vietnamese died each year due to air pollution.

Solutions

The COVID-19 Pandemic is expected continue to be complex, negatively impacting all aspects of life. Vietnam will continue to face environmental challenges. However, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment identified key tasks to improve environment protection.

According to the ministry, environmental protection must be focused on building and developing a circular economy; innovating in environmental management methods in digital transform; strengthening household solid waste management in order to fully tap thevalue ofresources; and improving conservation of nature and biodiversity.

The ministry is currently implementing the national environment protection strategy (until 2030). Its key tasks include promoting the circular economy, sustainable production, and consumption; dealing with key environmental issues; improving the quality of the environment, conservation of nature, and biodiversity; and increasing the ability to deal with climate change and reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

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The ministry has developed a system for national technical standards on environment, including standards for waste management. The ministry will be focusing on solid waste management, including household solid waste and plastics. It will also implement pilot programs for waste classification from different sources.

A national action plan for maritime plastic waste management to 2030 and a master project on improving plastic waste management in Vietnam were issued.

The country has been working to implement a national plan for climate change adaptation from 2021-30. This includes accelerating scientific research and technology applications, and boosting international cooperation in dealing with climate change.

The revised Law on Environmental Protection will be effective January 2022. It is expected to make a significant contribution in protecting the environment through a variety of comprehensive policies.

Nguyen Thinh, Deputy Head of Vietnam Environment Administration, said that the law introduced a number of comprehensive policies, including a national environment protection strategy, an environmental impact assessment, household waste management; coping climate change; environmental observation; preventing, handling, and inspecting environmental incidents.

He stated that the implementation of these policies will help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental protection.

Source: Vietnam News

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