Lessons to solve POPs/dioxin pollution shared

Vietnamese and foreign experts have shared technological advances on the assessment and remediation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and dioxin pollution in Vietnam.

At a December 2 workshop in the central city of Da Nang, they introduced methods to assess dioxin and other pollutants and update the development of technology to treat POPs/dioxin.

They provided comparison on the control and observation of dioxin in the international legal framework.

The Vietnamese experts highlighted issues related to Agent Orange in Vietnam and activities to overcome challenges to the environment and people’s health, while sharing Vietnam’s experience in assessing and managing dioxin pollution over the past 40 years.

Lessons learnt from dioxin risk management in Europe, as well as up-to-date applications to remedy POPs/dioxin in Vietnam, were also discussed.

According to Ass. Prof. Dr. Le Ke Son, head of the national project on handling dioxin under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam is one of the countries that face serious challenges posed by dioxin.

During the past four decades, dioxin has continued to exist in the contaminated areas, especially Bien Hoa airport where at least 240,000 cubic metres of polluted soil and sediment need to be treated, he said.

The event is part of a US$5 million joint project by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched in July 2010 to support Vietnam in minimising the disruption of ecosystems and health risks to people from environmental releases of dioxin-contaminated hotspots.

The project has helped handle polluted area inside Phu Cat airport, while making plans to treat and prevent dioxin from spreading to areas surrounding Bien Hoa airport.

Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Vice Country Director in Vietnam, said due to postponements in treatment activities, dioxin continues to be a serious pollution source threatening the environment and people’s health in Vietnam, especially through the food chain.

Together with the Vietnamese Government, UNDP will continue encouraging efforts in promoting communications and information sharing at national and international technical forums in the field, he stressed.

VNA/VOV online