The 5th National Environment Conference: Integrating economic development and environmental protection

Attending the Conference were Mr. Tran Hong Ha, Member of the Central Committee of the Party, Secretary of the Party Personnel Committee, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Le Quang Huy, Member of the Party Central Committee, Chairman of the Party Central Committee. Science, Technology and Environment Committee of the National Assembly; Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment,  Comrade Phan Xuan Dung, former member of the Party Central Committee, former Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, Chairman of the Union of Science and Technology Associations Vietnamese Engineering.

There are also representatives of leaders of agencies of the Party, National Assembly, Viet Nam Fatherland Front, ministries, branches, mass organizations at the central level; Provincial Party Committee, City Party Committee, People’s Committee, Department of Natural Resources and Environment 63 provinces and cities directly under the Central Government; universities, institutes, research centers and experts in the field of environment and representatives of a number of international organizations and experts operating in Viet Nam.

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Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh attended and directed at the Conference.

Marking a period of strong transformation in environmental protection work

Speaking at the opening of the Conference, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said:  The year 2022 is the time when the Prime Minister has just made a strong commitment of Viet Nam to achieve net zero emissions in 2050 at the COP26 Conference. This is also a pivotal year in implementing major orientations on environment and national development for the period 2021 – 2030 in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress. 2022 is also the first year of implementing new and breakthrough regulations and policies of the Law Environmental Protection 2020 and guiding documents for its implementation.

Therefore, the 5th National Environment Conference not only summarizes and evaluates the results achieved and the lessons and experiences in environmental protection work in the past period, but also to grasp and agree on the awareness and action of the whole society towards environmental protection.

Looking back on the past journey shows that environmental issues are always placed at the center of the agenda; development programs, strategies, master plans and plans of the country with the highest goal of protecting the people’s health, ensuring the quality of the living environment, and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems. Building a green, circular and environmentally friendly economy has been incorporated into the Party’s guidelines and guidelines, and the State’s policies and laws. The Resolution of the 13th Party Congress affirms the policy of “building a green economy, a circular economy, friendly with the environment”, “building a roadmap, mechanisms, policies and laws to form, operate the circular economy model”.

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Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha emphasized that we must be more aware of the importance of protecting the environment, ensuring a harmonious relationship between people and nature.

With the efforts of the whole political system and the hands of the whole people, environmental protection has changed from passive to response, to active prevention, protection and recovery. The system of policies and laws has been perfected, in which the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 with many breakthrough policies and solutions, marks a strong transition period in environmental protection work. Modern models and technologies are deployed in recycling and waste treatment. Monitoring, warning and forecasting activities on environmental quality have been enhanced, providing information on the environment, serving well for socio-economic development and community health protection. Many movements and typical models of environmental protection have come into life, becoming the actions and lifestyles of everyone, every home and social community.

Besides the successes achieved, environmental protection also has shortcomings and limitations. The environment in some places continues to be polluted, especially in river basins and craft villages; some environmental incidents still occur; the unreasonable and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources continues to lead to loss of resources and bad impacts on the environment; The situation of deforestation, hunting, illegal trading of wild animals and plants, and invasive alien species is complicatedly happening.

In order to solve the existing problems, many delegates attending the conference gave presentations, exchanged and evaluated the achieved and unsatisfactory results in environmental protection, pointed out the causes and problems, as well as propose many solutions to improve the efficiency of environmental protection in the coming time. Many speeches were highly appreciated such as the one “Promoting the strength of the whole people to participate in environmental protection”; “Viet Nam’s Efforts in Addressing Global Environmental Issues” by UNDP; “Strengthening crime prevention and fighting, ensuring security, order and social safety in the field of environment” ; “Promoting the role of enterprises in environmental protection”…

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Join hands to achieve goals in the future

According to Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan, at the 5-year socio-economic development plan 2021-2025 approved by the 15th National Assembly, the 10-year socio-economic development strategy 2021–2030 at the Party Congress. The 13th National Environmental Protection Strategy, as well as the National Strategy for Environmental Protection to 2030, with a Vision to 2050 has been promulgated by the Prime Minister and the Government, the issue of environmental protection has been exhausted by the Party, National Assembly and Government. interest; In which, many goals have to be achieved from now until 2025 such as ensuring that 90% of urban domestic solid waste, 80% of rural domestic solid waste, 95% of hazardous waste are collected; the proportion of industrial parks and export processing zones in operation with a centralized wastewater treatment system meeting environmental standards is 92%; the area of ​​nature reserves reaches 2.7 million ha;…
In order to achieve the above goals, it is necessary to pay attention to the direction of the Government and the Prime Minister in integrating environmental protection objectives and requirements in the construction and adjustment of strategies, master plans and socio-economic development programs. Strengthen state management capacity on environmental protection, especially at district and commune levels. Balancing and allocating capital from the State budget and mobilizing other capital sources such as loans, government bonds, etc. to develop and implement environmental programs/projects to solve problems current stressful environment.

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Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan spoke about identifying opportunities, challenges and orienting tasks and solutions of environmental protection work in the coming period.

For the Viet Nam Fatherland Front, it is necessary to continue to gather and coordinate with socio-political organizations, socio-professional organizations, other mass organizations and the community to actively participate in environmental protection activities, supervision of environmental protection activities for state agencies, businesses and people.

For the People’s Councils and People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities, it is necessary to urgently issue documents to implement the Law on Environmental Protection 2020 in their localities; strengthen propaganda, dissemination, mastery and implementation of the Law’s contents into local practice, especially new ones. Strengthening the inspection and examination of environmental protection; resolutely handle violations strictly. Ensure that not less than 1% of the total local budget expenditure is allocated to the cause of environmental protection.

Environmental protection can only be successful with the cooperation of everyone. Therefore, the theme of this year’s conference is “Harmonizing economic development and environmental protection towards a circular economy and sustainable development” as a strong call for gathering and solidarity. to protect the environment. At the same time prevent the degradation of biodiversity for a life in harmony with nature and for a more sustainable future.

Orientation to convert from “brown” to “green”

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh said that in the past 5 years, we have seen a great contribution of the natural resources and environment industry and the fields of resource protection that we have made. The system of policies and laws has made a breakthrough with the passage of the Law on Environmental Protection by the National Assembly in 2020, which serves as a more complete legal basis for environmental protection. There has been a positive change in the awareness and awareness of environmental law observance of the community and businesses, especially in the consumption of green and environmentally friendly products, and the restriction of plastic products using used once. Many projects on waste treatment, pollution remediation and environmental improvement are invested. The rate of solid waste collected has increased over the years, and conservation of nature and biodiversity has been focused.

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Overview of the Conference

In order to develop the country in a sustainable way,  Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh asked the natural resources and environment industry to continue to focus on the people’s life and health along with the sustainable development. Localities and branches need to pay attention to and reserve a lot of land for green trees in accordance with the Planning Law as well as the current regulations and standards; resolutely keep the green land fund and must develop trees in urban areas and areas. It is necessary to focus on successfully transforming the economic structure, renewing the growth model from “brown” to “green”, from intensive exploitation of natural resources to a knowledge economy, digital economy, and circular economy, low carbon.

In addition, localities from the central to local levels need to focus on training human resources for management of environmental protection, especially high-quality human resources. Strengthen and diversify investment capital sources for environmental protection. Prioritize budget sources as capital to attract, develop and solve environmental problems.

The Deputy Prime Minister emphasized that the “V National Conference on Environment is an opportunity to share experiences, strengthen connection and coordination, and strongly promote environmental protection. The important results at the congress will be an important premise for us to join hands and contribute together to perform well and take concrete actions in environmental protection work.”

At the end of the conference, Minister Tran Hong Ha once again affirmed: The environment has made progress over the past 30 years, but there are still challenges. That situation forces us to be more aware of the importance of protecting the environment, ensuring a harmonious relationship between humans and nature. Green transformation based on green economy, circular economy, low carbon economy, digital economy is the way for us to bring the country to sustainable development, improve the quality of life for the people.

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