Pollution is a consequence of development, said Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang to media on the sideline of a National Assembly (NA) meeting.
Many NA representatives have expressed their concerns about the overexploitation of natural resources and exacerbation of environmental pollution. Does the ministry have any new solutions to tackle those issues?
In my opinion, many other developing countries face similar problems. Our country, which is still on the path of integration and development, cannot avoid environmental pollution. We have no way but to accept it.
The ministry has been working on a new proposal to impose a fee for every natural resource exploitation permit granted. The fee will be a huge sum of money that will help to prevent a random company from acquiring the permit, then selling it to another company, much like what is happening now.
We must also require manufacturers to set up waste treatment facilities to service their factories before they are granted production licences.
Regarding the overexploitation of natural resources, I just want to add that the problem has actually been improving compared to the period prior to 2010 when the Mineral Law was introduced.
Regarding the Dong Nai River urban project, the NA's Commission on Science, Technology and Environment has asked the ministry to reassess the environmental impacts of the project. How is the assessment going so far?
The ministry has set up an assessment council to review the report by the Dong Nai Department of Natural Resources and Environment on the impacts of the Dong Nai River urban project. That report has been deemed unqualified. The council will issue a new assessment report to see whether the project really does affect the Dong Nai River flow.
The ministry's decision on whether or not to continue with the project will be based on the new council report. Every decision should be based on research and scientific facts.
I personally think that there will be some minimal impacts on the river flow.
What is the ministry's plan to deal with the recent wide-ranging drought across the country?
While the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) is in charge of climate change activities, works related to drought, dams and reservoir construction are primarily under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
Regarding the drought in the central region, the Government has asked MARD to conduct land surveys to build as many reservoirs as possible. Yet, construction is never an easy job. It takes money and advanced technology.
The MoNRE is working on a regulation to manage the water discharge from the reservoirs to ensure ample water supply for residents affected by the drought. — VNS