Natural resources and environment gradually become an important economic sector

February 05, 2021 - 07:46

At the13th National Party Congress, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà, spoke to the media about highlights of natural resources and environment sector.


Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà, spoke to the media about highlights of natural resources and environment sector.

Could you tell us about the successes in implementing decisions on natural resources and the environment during the five-year 12th Congress term?

The Natural Resources and Environment sector entered the 2016-2020 term with mixed advantages and disadvantages. At the beginning of the term, the industry was faced with huge challenges. The management of the industry, especially the environment and land, always saw problems while the management was still passive. Also in the past five years, climate change has seriously impacted Việt Nam, with many difficulties and challenges.

The sector had to be determined and innovate and closely coordinate with other sectors to immediately solve bottlenecks and arising problems in order to contribute to the socio-economic development goals in the 2016-20 period and create a foundation for the industry to make a worthy contribution to the country's development goals to 2030 and a vision to 2045.

The ministry has tried to solve difficulties in order to effectively use natural resources and environment for national development.

A number of decrees have been issued to remove bottlenecks on land or build a legal basis for proactive control and environmental protection.

Along with that, many great strategic policies have been built to harmonise socio-economic development with environmental protection, effective management and use of natural resources and response to climate change for sustainable development.

Policies and resolutions on sustainable marine economic development strategy, reform on land, map and measurement, environmental protection law and sustainable development of the Mekong Delta have also been issued.

Along with institutional improvements, effective coordination from the central to local levels, we have made a strong change in the management, moving from passive to active.

Natural resources are managed and used effectively, contributing to socio-economic development.

In the past five years, the restructuring of land use has met the requirements of developing non-agricultural production and business, building synchronous infrastructure, urbanisation creating great socio-economic efficiency, contributing nearly VNĐ850 trillion to the State budget.

Nearly 1 million hectares of unused land has been put in use. Forest coverage nationwide rose to 42 per cent by 2020.

Solutions to ensure water security, the potential advantages of the sea have been implemented to promote the marine economy.

The work of environmental protection has made strong changes from awareness to action with the participation of the whole society. Many people say no to plastic bags and plastic products.

Waste is treated by recycling, reuse, incineration, electricity generation instead of burying.

The Ministry has submitted to the Prime Minister a plan to improve the air environment right from 2016.

The quality of hydrometeorological forecasts have been improved as close to advanced countries in the region and in the world, contributing to minimising human and property losses caused by natural disasters. Strategy to proactively respond to climate change is being implemented in the Mekong Delta and will continue to be summarised and replicated.

One of the successes of the natural resources and environment sector in recent years is the application of technology, digital transformation.

The ministry is also building a digital resource based on big data on land, geographic information, remote sensing, observational data, baseline survey, moving towards a strong digital economy in socio-economic development and providing the foundation for the national digital transformation.

Administrative procedures have also been improved. The surveys of independent organisations showed that the satisfaction index of certification granting services increased by 13 per cent compared to 2016; The satisfaction index with environmental procedures increased by 3.08 per cent compared to 2017; The proportion of negative responses in the implementation of the certification granting process decreased by 34 per cent; The index of property ownership and use registration ranks 60 in 190 countries.

Could you tell us the role and position of the natural resources and environment sector for the country's development in the future and the highlights for the industry in the draft document of the 13th Congress of the Party?

Resource management, environmental protection and proactive response to climate change have been identified as the important issues with great influence, relationships and interactions to determine the country's sustainable development. It is also the basis and premise for policy planning on socio-economic development policies, ensuring national defence, security and social security.

It is one of the most important economic sectors, national wealth management, resource, and important natural capital of the country and one of the three pillars of sustainable development. Therefore, this is one of the most important tasks of the entire political system; responsibility and obligation of agencies, organisations, businesses, and communities, in which the State plays a leading role, under the leadership of the Party and the participation and supervision of the whole society.

The resource management, environmental protection and climate change adaptation are important contents in the draft documents submitted to the National Congress of the Party.

Drafting documents are major guidelines towards the goal of sustainable development of the country based on the viewpoint of harmonious development between the economy, society and the environment; protection of people's health as the primary goal; investment in environmental protection as an investment for sustainable development; proactively responding to climate change in global relations.

The documents also note that it is not only a challenge but also create opportunities to promote the transformation of the growth model towards sustainable development.

Exploiting and using resources economically, effectively, and sustainably will both meet immediate requirements and ensure long-term benefits, of which long-term benefits are fundamental, ensuring resource security.

Many major solutions such as circular economic development and green economy are emphasised in the documents.

We wish that with the wisdom, belief, and dedication from the people, the Congress will make decisions on major policies on natural resources and the environment. Together with the resolution adopted at the 13th Congress, the relevant resolutions of the Central will shape the development of the environment industry.

In the future, we need to institutionalise undertakings and resolutions into laws, regulations on natural resource and environmental management; mobilise the participation of all parties, agencies and awareness and unity of each people in national protection and development. — VNS