Vietnam Ministry reveals national strategy for environment protection

MONRE shows bad panorama of Vietnam’s natural environment
VietNamNet Bridge 18 Jan 13;

Natural resources have been degrading and getting exhausted, the biodiversity has got degraded, while climate changes have turned unpredictable. These are the main points of the picture about Vietnam’s environment.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) has announced the approval of the national strategy on the environment protection by 2020 with the vision until 2030.

Land, water, air all get polluted

According to the ministry, though Vietnam spends VND6,590 billion dong from the state budget and $3.2 billion from the ODA capital (official development assistance), very modest achievements have been made in the environment protection, while the number of polluters has been increasing rapidly, thus leading to the higher pollution level in many areas.

The land resource in rural area has degraded due to the abuse of chemical substances used in agriculture production. The total inorganic fertilizer used in agriculture is estimated at 2.5-3 million tons a year, of which 70 percent cannot be absorbed by plants and they are discharged to the environment.

In urban areas, people have suffered from polluted water resources due to the uncontrolled industrial production. Only 60 percent of industrial zones reportedly have waste water treatment systems, while nearly 100 percent of waste water from residential quarter has been discharged directly to the environment, without treatment.

The soil in the northern mountainous areas and Central Highlands has suffered the erosion level of 34-150 tons per hectare per annum. The Mekong Delta is facing the salinization.

The surface water has been degrading and turned polluted. In central provinces and Central Highlands, 50 percent of the stream output has been exploited, while the limit is just 30 percent. All the lakes, canals and ponds in big cities have got polluted, and many of them have turned into the waste water reservoirs.

On the three big river valleys of Nhue – Day, Cau and Dong Nai, the surface water quality monitoring in recent years all showed that the water quality is below the standards.

Especially, Vietnamese now have to live in a polluted atmosphere, especially in big cities like Hanoi and HCM City.

Alarm rung about species extinction

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in 1996, only 25 species in Vietnam were listed as “endangered,” while the figure soared to 47 in 2010. These include the species which are not in high danger in the world, but in high danger in Vietnam.

This has been attributed to the sharp decrease of the natural ecological systems which has led to the disappearance of the areas – the ideal living environments for creatures.

With the forest cover area of up to 40 percent of the total land area, the forest area has increased, but the forest quality has decreased. A report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) released in September 2012 showed that while the forest area increased by 127,000 hectares over 2010, the natural forest area decreased by 20,000 hectares.

Especially, only 0.57 million hectares of primeval forests has been left, mostly in preventive forests or sanctuaries. Forests of different kinds have been in the danger of being eliminated to give place to hydropower plants.

Mangrove swamps disappearing gradually

The mangrove swamp area has reduced by 50 percent in comparison with 1943 to 160,000 hectares. The sea dyke system has the length of 2,483 kilometers, but 55 percent of the length has not been protected by the preventive forests any more.

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