In opening the forum, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said bustling socio-economic activities in regions downstream major rivers have brought about problems in the environment in general and in the water environment in particular.
The quality of water resources has degraded in many river basins, especially where there are urban areas, industrial parks and craft villages. The situation is worst in the basins of Cau River, Nhue-Day Rivers in the north and Dong Nai River in the south.
The deputy minister noted that rivers are usually the main water supply source for downstream communities, with rural and poor residents usually using water taken directly from river without any treatment. This is the cause of diseases and epidemics, affecting local people’s health and social-economic development.
According to Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration Hoang Van Thuc, the 2014 Law on Environmental Protection devotes four articles, from Article 52 to Article 55, on the protection of water environment in river basins.
In reality, however, there are conflicts between the goals of environmental protection, sustainable development and short-term economic growth in localities, while the capacity of environmental management cannot meet the increasing demand. Therefore, it is urgent to increase the capacity of State management of natural resources and water environment at all levels.
Discussions at the forum focused on the management of water resource and waste water at central and local levels, standards for the water environment, water quality control, and plans for cooperation between Vietnam and Germany in the time ahead.
The forum was organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in coordination with Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.