Nearly 500,000 hectares of land cleared of bombs, mines in 10 years

March 04, 2024 - 16:31
The figure was revealed during the commemoration of the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre's 10th anniversary on March 4, 2024. Also on this occasion, the centre was presented with the Fatherland Defence Order, Third Class.


At the ceremony. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Over the past decade, nearly 500,000 hectares of land have been successfully cleared of mines and explosive ordnance, as reported by the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre (VNMAC).

The figure was revealed during the commemoration of the centre’s 10th anniversary on March 4, 2024. Also on this occasion, the centre was presented with the Fatherland Defence Order, Third Class.

Major General Trần Trung Hòa, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers and general director of VNMAC, said the centre’s functions and tasks encompass presiding over and coordinating with relevant agencies, conducting research, proposing policies, setting goals and developing long-term and medium-term plans to address the consequences of landmines.

Additionally, the centre is responsible for mobilising national-level funding, managing information related to addressing post-war bomb and mine consequences in Việt Nam, organising and coordinating mine clearance projects and tasks, providing support to landmine victims, and undertaking prevention initiatives related to mine accidents.

In the work of investigation, technical survey and clearance of bombs, mines and explosives, the centre has taken proactive measures, proposing and directly coordinating major projects. These efforts have significantly contributed to nationwide bomb and mine clearance, resulting in the clearance of nearly 500,000 hectares of mines and explosives from 2014 to 2023.

Moreover, the centre has been instrumental in advancing the activities of the Partnership Group to overcome the post-war consequences of bombs and mines, mobilising international organisations to sponsor resources for Việt Nam. This support has enabled the enhancement of capacity and the implementation of investigation, survey and clearance projects, as well as information management and quality assurance of mine and explosive ordnance clearance activities, with international funding exceeding US$100 million.

General Phan Văn Giang, Politburo member, deputy secretary of the Central Military Commission, and minister of National Defence, expressed his appreciation in a letter addressed to officers, professional soldiers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, workers and defence officials of the centre on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. He commended the centre for its unwavering dedication in striving towards the successful completion of the advisory and coordination task.

During the ceremony, Senior Lieutenant General Phùng Sĩ Tấn, deputy chief of General Staff of the Việt Nam People's Army and deputy head of the Standing Committee of the National Steering Committee on Overcoming Post-war Consequences of Landmines and Toxic Chemicals in Việt Nam, expressed recognition and praise for the centre's achievements over the past decade of construction and growth. He highlighted that numerous groups and individuals within the centre have been honoured with prestigious awards by the Party, State and Army.

In order to further strengthen and mature the centre to meet the demands of the new situation, he proposed several key tasks.

Foremost among these is the imperative to advance technological development, conducting research, analysis and forecasting of both international and domestic situations relevant to the work of overcoming the consequences of bombs and mines.

Additionally, he urged the centre to collaborate closely with relevant agencies to research, propose policies, set goals, and draft a comprehensive plan for overcoming the consequences of landmines and bombs for the period 2026 to 2045, with a forward-looking orientation towards 2050.

In addition to the aforementioned tasks, the centre must prioritise finalising the content of the Ordinance on Overcoming Post-war Bomb and Mine Consequences in Việt Nam. Furthermore, it should excel in communication efforts aimed at raising public awareness about mine and bomb accident prevention. Emphasis should also be placed on training and enhancing scientific capacity, particularly in information management, international cooperation, project management, and the effective coordination of mine clearance and explosive ordnance clearance projects, as well as support for mine victims.

Collaboration with international organisations is essential for providing training on handling explosive materials and delivering initial medical treatment according to international standards. This proactive engagement will not only augment the centre's capabilities but also ensure alignment with global best practices in mine action and victim support. — VNS