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Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng’s speech at the 4th National Conference on Environment


   Hà Nội, October 30th, 2015

   Ladies and gentlemen and distinguished guests,


   Today I was glad to attend the 4th National Environmental Conference to review results achieved over the last 5 years and identify key environmental protection tasks for the next 5 years. I highly recognized the efforts of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) in organizing this important event. 

   Ladies and gentlemen and comrades, 

   Environmental protection is both the objective and the basic content of sustainable development. Nowadays, climate change, environmental pollution, energy security, water security... have become global problems, but no one country can deal with them alone.

   Recognizing the role and significance of environmental protection, the Party and State have issued many guidelines and policies on this important issue. The Resolution on responding to climate change, enhancing resource management and environmental protection was issued at the 11th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party at its 7th session.

   I am pleased to speak about positive results achieved through Việt Nam’s environmental protection efforts during the last 5 years. The policy mechanisms system and environmental legislation were reviewed and revised. State management organisations’ structure from the central to local levels were strengthened. Management capacity significantly improved. More were interested in the investment budget for environmental protection. Non-business expenditure sources for the environment in 2015 amounted to VND 11,400 billion - nearly double that of 2010. The tools and measures for state management of environmental resources were applied and took effect. Inspections and examinations of environmental protection efforts were promoted, erasing serious environmental pollution establishments and achieving annual targets set by the National Assembly. Investors poured funds into waste treatment and other projects to improve the environment. The percentage of solid waste collection increased over the years. Nature conservation and biodiversity were focused on. International co-operation has been strengthened, technology increased, engineering advanced and critical resources protected.

   On behalf of the Government, I highly appreciate the efforts of the comrades and the progress we’ve made in recent years.

   Ladies and gentlemen and comrades,

   Aside from its achievements, the sector should also look at the limitations and weaknesses in its environmental protection efforts, as outlined in the Final Report of the MONRE. Pollution and environmental degradation have increased in some areas, which has affected economic and social development. Natural resources are still being overexploited and lack sustainability. The mechanisms, policies and laws on environmental protection overlap, feasibility is not high and law enforcement is not strict. Environmental management staff lack quantity and are limited in expertise and professional skills. The communities and mass organizations are not effective in supervising the implementation of environmental protection regulations. Environmental protection regulations are becoming more serious and sophisticated every day.

   The Conference’s Draft Final Report has raised warnings from international environmental experts that in the next 10 years, Việt Nam’s GDP could double, but without proper attention environment pollution will triple. By 2025, this figure could increase by 4 or 5 times. If GDP increased by 1% on average, then the losses caused by environmental pollution account for 3% of GDP. This is a warning that we need to pay attention to the reality shown that immediate economic benefits are less important than the task of protecting environmental sustainability in the long-term.

   Ladies and gentlemen and comrades,

   The tasks for environmental protection in the next 5 years have been mentioned quite comprehensively in the comrades’ 2016 - 2020 report. To do good environmental protection work in the future and protect the environment are important elements in the growth model towards sustainable development, protection and physical health. I note that the comrades should focus on some important tasks as follows:

   Implementing some important tasks to improve environmental management and protecting the environment is an important element in the activities of renewing the growth model towards sustainable development, protecting health and physical health of future generations. This includes:

   First, the 12th Party Congress Resolution, the Central Committee Resolution and legislation on environmental protection should be implemented effectively; improving the system of legal documents to guide the implementation of the Law on Environmental Protection 2014; amending the Law on Biodiversity and relevant laws to improve nature conservation and biodiversity.

   Second, increasing media propaganda by directing people to follow the law; engaging people in protecting the environment in their communities; establishing and developing a civilized society; educating people about environmentally friendly lifestyles and behaviour.

   Third, improving organizational structures and staff at all levels, especially in local governments, districts and communes to meet demand for state management on environmental protection.

   Fourth, strengthening and diversifying financial resources for environment protection; prioritising development funds and ODA to solve current environment problems; persistence, affecting the lives and health of the people; calling on all resources in the society to improve the environment; encouraging socialization and investment in the form of public-private partnerships, especially in the collection and treatment of solid waste; early establishment of the Environmental Protection Fund to proactively resolve environmental issues.

   Fifth, promoting research and application of advanced science and technology in response to climate change, natural resource management and environmental protection; promoting innovative technologies for the production of energy saving, efficient use of resources, industrial development “low carbon”; focusing on improving environmental elements in the structure of commodity value, service, product formation of “green” services “green” which are certificated that environmentally friendly; restrict investment in sectors producing pollution and adverse impacts on the environment; thinking carefully the risk of being the outdated technological disposal site of developing countries.

   Sixth, promoting and improving the effective and efficient of tool to strategic environmental assessment, environmental databases to predict and prevent the pollution sources which have adverse impact on the environment; speeding up the investigation and having solutions for cases that break environment law and cause serious environment pollution; controlling generation, storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste to avoid contaminating the environment.

   Seventh, co-operating and integrating into the international environment stream and take advantages of its relationship for improving environment protection; committing the international commitment and efforts to conduct the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are suitable to our country’s circumstances. Việt Nam is responsible for joint efforts addressing global environmental issues.

   Ladies and gentlemen and comrades,

   Protecting the environment is a global problem, and it requires co-operation from every country, every organisation and every citizen. On behalf of Việt Nam’s  government, I would like to thank and hope to receive more co-operation and effective support from the United Nation agencies, the World Bank, countries, international organizations and friends in the near on this very important issue. Việt Nam is willing to co-operate with and contribute positively in the international community to keep our environment clean■


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