Conference gathers int’l scientists to address pollution

March, 09/2017 - 14:21

Vietnamese and international scientists gathered at a conference in south-central Bình Định Province yesterday to discuss environmental issues as well as share research results and environment management experience.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà delivers speech at an International Conference on Environmental Pollution, Restoration, and Management in Quy Nhơn City, Bình Định Province. – Photo

BÌNH ĐỊNH – Việt Nam is facing the threat of soil, water and air pollution as a consequence of rapid economic growth,  Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà said yesterday.

Addressing an International Conference on Environmental Pollution, Restoration, and Management, he said declining biodiversity, poor environmental management and complicated climate change impacts have badly impacted  the nation’s natural environment and undermined sustainable development.

The four-day conference, held in Quy Nhơn City, Bình Định Province, has gathered 170 scientists, policy-makers and students from 19 countries and territories including Việt Nam.

As many as 150 representations will be made at the conference.

The three plenary presentations are: “Natural resource damage assessment and restoration for oil and chemical spills” by Dr. Lisa Dipinto from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US; “Are harmful algal blooms becoming the greatest global threat to water quality?” by Prof. Bryan Brooks of the Baylor University, US; and “Plastic pollution from a system perspective: linking sources, transport, distribution, and impacts” by Dr. Chris Wilcox from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Minister Hà said Việt Nam’s weak environment management was a result of the lack of a comprehensive legal framework and poor forecasting capability. Limited human and financial resources were also to blame, he said.

Meanwhile, climate change impacts have hit faster and in more complicated manner than expected, he said, pointing to unusual natural disasters and extreme weather conditions including fierce drought as evidence.

To handle these challenges, Việt Nam has issued many strong policies and is committed to not exchanging the environment for economic development, Hà said.

The minister stressed that Việt Nam determined to develop long-term policies to increase international co-operation on coping with environmental issues.

He stressed the need to strengthen environmental management and adaptation capacity of both State management agencies and technical and scientific establishments.

Minister Hà yesterday held talks with scientists on current environmental issues in Việt Nam and ways to manage them in the coming years. -- VNS