VN commits to reduce ocean plastic waste

Update: December, 11/2018 - 09:00
Plastic waste dumped into a canal near a residential area in the southern city of Cần Thơ. — VNS Photo Trương Vị
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Protecting the marine environment and restoring the ecosystem has been identified as one of the major objectives for sustainable development in Việt Nam, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà said.

He was speaking at a conference on developing a national action plan on ocean plastic waste management in Hà Nội yesterday.

The conference was held to mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Canada.

Its aim was to put into practice an initiative proposed by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at the 44th G7 Summit held in Canada in June, which suggested the G7 countries develop a global cooperative mechanism to reduce plastic waste.

Hà said reducing this was part of a strategy for sustainable development of Việt Nam’s maritime economy over the next 12 years.

He requested authorities to focus on tackling opportunities and challenges of ocean plastic waste management on national, regional and international levels.

They should develop a comprehensive legal framework for the issue and provide incentives for consumption reduction, recycling, and plastic reuse, he said.

“Awareness-raising activities should be held in order to help people change their behaviour,” he added.

“Regional and international cooperation should be strengthened in order to solve the issue.”

He proposed Việt Nam hosts an ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in 2020 with the theme ‘striving towards an ASEAN community without plastic waste’.

At the conference, experts from Canada, South Korea and the World Bank shared experiences regarding different approaches to plastic waste management.

Canadian Ambassador to Việt Nam Deborah Paul praised the long-term collaboration between the two countries on solving environmental and climate change issues.

She emphasised an initiative that calls on international organisations to hold activities on reducing plastic waste pollution, which was initiated by the Embassy of Canada in Việt Nam in April.

Fifty-eight international organisations and foreign diplomatic agencies in Việt Nam have signed the Code of Conduct on the fight against plastic waste pollution and minimising the use of disposable office supplies, she said.

“We are pleased the initiative has received support from the Vietnamese Government and from Minister Trần Hồng Hà,” she said. — VNS