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Hà Nội Journey to become a Green - Civilized - Modern capital


   In the context of climate change and global integration, to hold the opportunities to become a Green - Civilized - Modern capital together with other localities nationwide, Hà Nội has implemented holistically many solutions to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental protection, contributing to the socio-economic development in a sustainable manner.

   This is the sharing of Mr. Nguyễn Trọng Đông - Director of Hà Nội Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE) with the VEM on the occasion of the 4th National Conference on Environment organized in Hà Nội recently.

Mr. Nguyễn Trọng Đông - 
Director of Hà Nội DoNRE

   Can you share with us some main achievements in environmental protection of Hà Nội during 2011 - 2015?

   Mr. Nguyễn Trọng Đông: in the process of promoting industrialisation and modernisation in the Capital, according to Resolution No. 41 - NQ/TW dated 15/11/2004 by the Politburo and basic orientations on environmental protection according to the overall planning of the Capital to 2030, vision to 2050 approved by the Prime Minister, Party’s committees, local authorities and local people of Hà Nội always pay attention to environmental protection and identify environment to be one of fundamental targets of sustainable development.

   In recent years, the City has promoted investments in technical infrastructure construction linked with environmental protection and natural resources; approved thematic master plans for the development of a green - civilized - modern city; staff working on environmental management at all levels have been enhanced in quantity and professional quality; awareness of the community on environmental sanitation has increased, with the participation into the socio-political system on environmental protection activities; propaganda and awareness raising activities on environmental protection in the community have been promoted from the city level to local levels; functional agencies have increased the supervision and inspection to discover and handle strictly and seriously with violations on environmental protection and natural resources.

   During 2011 - 2015, environmental protection in the city has achieved important outcomes, particularly: effective implementation of solid waste treatment planning in the city, expansion of two concentrated solid waste treatment facilities, construction of a new facility and preparation for investment of one facility so in principle there are four concentrated waste treatment facilities in four zones of the city, at an appropriate transportation distance. At the same time, investments in district or inter-district solid waste treatment facilities that can be self-treated according to the planning are implemented. Projects on using advanced treatment technologies to reduce the volumes of landfill wastes and land areas are prioritised for implementation, particularly applying successful incineration technologies for domestic wastes. Currently, the city has four domestic waste incineration factories, with the total capacity of 1,200 tonnes/day; an industrial waste incineration is being constructed using the advanced technology of Japan and other 10 projects under investment preparation on waste treatment with different technologies applying technical and scientific advances on incineration technology, biological and chemical and rapid rotating aerobic landfill, to ensure by 2020, 50% of waste are subject to sanitary landfills. Models on collection and transport of domestic solid wastes in rural areas are promoted. Supporting mechanism on capitals, tax incentives, price subsidy for environmental protection activities are developed and promulgated. Particularly, Hà Nội has implemented successfully the environmental socialisation. Currently, in the city, only one state-owned agency is implementing the collection and treatment of waste; the majority of treatment and environmental protection is carried out by non-state owned enterprises (the rate of waste transportation and collection in the whole city is more than 90%);

   In addition, Hà Nội also completes the pilot pollution treatment of 12 lakes in the urban area with good results, which was highly supported and appreciated by the people; this lays the foundation for the selection of appropriate technologies for upscaling of lake water pollution treatment in the city. By now, with the principle of socialization, enterprises that participated in renovation of 45 lakes in Hà Nội are actively implementing the scheme “environmental protection management and land use in Nhuệ River basin” and some contents in environmental pollution treatment of Tô Lịch River;

   Currently, the city has completed the handling of 25 serious environmental polluters according to Decision No. 64/2003/QD-TTg by the Prime Minister, as well as investment projects on healthcare wastewater treatment stations by the Department of Health. Conservation of natural resources, biodiversity and improvement of environmental quality is gradually paid attention;

   In addition, environment at industrial parks has been focused. By now, 8/8 industrial parks construct the concentrated wastewater treatment system. Projects to construct domestic wastewater treatment system and craft village wastewater treatment are gradually implemented, contributing to reduce environmental pollution in urban areas; rural clean water and environmental sanitation program, construction of toilets, sanitary husbandry farms, etc. have achieved some particular results; the status of deforestation, forest fires have constrained; many forest lands are regenerated. Financial resource of environmental protection of Hà Nội is prioritised; total budget allocated for environmental activities is increasing through the years, by now, achieving 3.8% of the total city’s budget.

Waste treatment chain in Xuân Sơn Waste Treatment Factory, Sơn Tây town (Hà Nội)

   With state management role on natural resources and environment, the DoNRE has counselled to Hà Nội People’s Committee what solutions to promote effective environmental protection?   

   Mr. Nguyễn Trọng Đông: First, enhance the leadership of the Party on environmental protection in the City: Party’s committees and authorities assess, implement and propose specific solutions to implement tasks of Resolution No. 41-NQ/TW by the Politburo and Directive No. 29-CT/TW by the Central Party Committee Secretariat; bring environmental protection to be one of annual assessment and classification criteria of agencies and organisations.

   Second, enhance and renew the propaganda and education, to create a robust change in awareness and actions of Party’s committees, authorities, fatherland front, unions, staff, party’s members, and citizen on responsibility and awareness on environmental protection: mobilize the whole political system in propaganda and education activities, dissemination of regulations, mechanisms and policies on environmental protection so enterprises, political-socio organisations, unions, manufacturing facilities and people change lifestyles, thinking and behaviours in environmental protection and natural resources; implement the propaganda and dissemination of the Law on Environmental Protection 2014 and Decrees, Circulars guiding the implementation of the Law; develop awareness programs on environment, dissemination by many methods, particularly in the mass media, bringing environmental protection contents and activities into party sub-unit’s materials; develop environmental columns in national and Hà Nội’s news papers and televisions; publish and disclose organisations and enterprises that cause serious environmental pollution and punishment methods; pay attention to promote environmental protection campaigns among different citizen groups; develop criteria on environmental protection and periodically assess and timely award agencies, families, villages and streets that gain outstanding achievements in environmental protection.

   Third, focus to promote the implementation of environmental programs, schemes and projects such as: Environmental protection master plan of Nhuệ - Đáy River Basin to 2020; scheme of focal tasks and solutions on environmental protection of Hà Nội to 2020, etc.

   Fourth, develop and finalize specific regulations on environmental protection in the city regarding manufacturing, commercial, service, construction, health, transportation, etc.; regulations on waste management and pollution control to be appropriate with the Law on Environmental Protection 2014; policies and mechanisms on craft village environment management of Hà Nội in general and typical mechanisms applied for wastewater treatment of craft villages (food, dyeing, textile, paper manufacturing and processing, etc.); incentives and motivation mechanisms for economic components to participate in solid waste treatment, wastewater and environmental service in the city; environmental management decentralisation in Hà Nội.

   Fifth, enhance the effectiveness of the appraisal and approval of environmental impact assessment and supervise and conduct post-appraisal of EIA report, at the same time, to enhance the implementation supervision of requirements in EIA report by the project investors during the development, construction and operation phases of investment projects; promote the inspection, supervision, and monitoring of environmental protection, strictly address violations on transportation of construction materials, refuses and serious environmental polluters; promote the tight and effective coordination between environmental management agencies and environmental crime prevention police force in prevention of crimes and violations on environmental protection.

   Sixth, prioritise and increase the annual city’s budget for environmental protection, unify and manage annual expenses for environmental management of the city into one focal point; develop the action plan to ensure annual increase according to the economic growth rate; diversify investment forms and types of activities, pay attention to mobilize all resources in the society for environmental protection. Encourage the participation of all economic components, and promulgate mechanisms to encourage enterprises to adopt clean technologies and pollution treatment for craft village manufacturing activities to be appropriate with manufacturing scope and capacity of households, implement environmental services, and promote the role of the city’s environmental protection fund.

   Seventh, promote the interregional and interprovincial cooperation according to the planning of Hà Nội and other provinces in Nhuệ - Đáy River basin and Cầu River basin that were approved by the Prime Minister to solve environmental pollution issues, to ensure sustainable development of the city; continue to maintain the cooperation with international environment organisations, actively implement international commitments on environmental protection. Update information, expand the relationships to attract aids, technology investment projects, environmental protection budget, and improvement of staff qualifications; build capacity for programs and projects in effective management and use of the international support budget for environmental protection.

   In the upcoming time, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of state management on environmental protection, which issues will Hà Nội DoNRE continue to focus?

   Mr. Nguyễn Trọng Đông: In the upcoming time, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of state management on environmental protection, DONRE will focus on some following tasks:

   Control, prevent, and reduce the emission of pollution sources, rehabilitate seriously polluted areas: promote the supervision and inspection of environmental protection compliance; focus on pollution control for hazardous wastes, control of mineral and water resources exploration and exploitation certification, appraisal of emission license into water sources by organisations and individuals in the city; develop, strengthen the water resource monitoring network in the city; implement the project on development of flood risk map of Hà Nội taking into consideration of climate change impacts (phase 2); develop the environmental protection planning of Hà Nội to 2030 according to the Law on Environmental Protection 2014; focus resources to implement the planning of water discharge system and wastewater treatment in residential areas, industrial zones and units in Nhuệ - Đáy river basin, develop water discharge infrastructure of Hà Nội during 2011-2015 and develop the Plan to develop the system of wastewater collection and treatment of Hà Nội to 2020, etc.; review, and enlist serious environmental polluters for removal and handling according to Decision No. 1788/QD-TTg by the Prime Minister; study, implement and apply waste classification technologies at source in combination with small-scale waste treatment at communes, that can be applied in residential areas that have difficult geological conditions for collection and transportation. Continue to request more investments in applying advanced waste treatment technologies in concentrated treatment facilities of the city so by 2020 to reduce the rate of landfill to below 50%. The treatment of healthcare and hazardous industrial solid wastes is carried out using standardised incineration technologies; continue to maintain and promote the upscaling of achievements and applying technologies that were approved by the city to address and mitigate lake pollution. Develop the system of domestic wastewater collection, gradually separate wastewater and channel to concentrated treatment facility before discharging to lakes; enhance technical support to enhance the efficiency of collection and recycling to reduce environmental pollution in craft villages.

   Encourage and support the development of eco-products manufacturing industries and environmental services: Implement  the scheme to control environmental pollution due to non-biodegradable nylon bags in domestic activities in an effective manner according to Decision No. 582/QD-TTg by the Prime Minister; study, apply and transfer environmental technologies, clean technologies, and environmentally friendly technologies, develop waste treatment, recycling, and reuse technologies; promote the application of information technology in environmental protection; develop and expand models on cleaner production;

   Explore, use natural resources effectively and sustainably: Implement effectively projects on natural resources such as: updating information database for the water resources database; field survey, development of the sanitary protection zone for drilling wells in the expanded Hà Nội; development of the flood map in the city taking into consideration of climate change impacts; survey, additional planning of the water monitoring network in the extended Hà Nội; survey, assessment and identification of forbidden zones, limitation zones and allowance zones for water use exploitation in the city area; monitoring of underground water change in Hà Nội...

   Promote socialization of environmental protection: diversify investment methods and types of activities; focus, mobilize all resources in the society to ensure enough resources for environmental protection. Encourage the participation of the private sector, have mechanisms to encourage the participation of enterprises of all economic components to apply clean technologies, pollution treatment for craft village manufacturing activities that are appropriate with the manufacturing scope and capacity of households, implement environmental services, etc.

   Consolidate the organizational structure and staff on environmental management: Review, report to the Hanoi People’s committee about a unified focal point on environmental management. Finalize the inter-sectoral coordination mechanism to unify targets and actions in state management on environmental protection; continue to consolidate the system of environmental staff at communes; ensure the quantity and qualification of staff. Discover, attract qualified staff, train and educate the key leadership group on environment at all levels in an active, basic and comprehensive manner. Strengthen infrastructures and facilities for environmental management from city to district and commune levels.

Thank you !

Hương Trần


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