State audit to urge environmental protection

September 20, 2019 - 08:00
Experts discussed the role of the state audit in managing waste and wastewater towards sustainable development during a conference held on Thursday in Hà Nội.
An expert checks wastewater at a wastewater treatment system in the Thăng Long Industrial Zone in Hà Nội’s Đông Anh District. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đông

HÀ NỘI — Experts discussed the role of the state audit in managing waste and wastewater towards sustainable development during a conference held on Thursday in Hà Nội.

The conference, held by the State Audit Office of Việt Nam (SAV), aimed at finding quality and effective measures for environmental audit, analysing and making clear the role of the SAV in environmental protection.

Speaking at the conference, deputy director of the SAV Đoàn Xuân Tiên said sustainable development together with environmental protection was not only a national issue, but also a global issue.

In Việt Nam, environmental protection was an inseparable part of the country's socio-economic development, he said.

In recent years, the SAV has conducted many audits related to the environment, such as the five million hectares of new afforestation project, the national target programme on clean water and environmental sanitation, and an audit of water issues in the Mekong River.

Besides, it also conducted audits on urban planning, mineral resources management, exploitation and use, and factories’ and industrial parks’ wastewater discharge projects.

Thereby, the SAV has gradually evaluated environmental management and effectiveness.

However, Tiên said, environmental audit was mostly part of financial audit. No independent environmental audit was conducted, thus results were not as expected.

Experts at the conference said that the quick urbanisation and higher living standards increased the nation’s socio-economic development, but also produced a great amount of waste.

Statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment showed that the country discharged 15.6 million tonnes solid waste annually.

Hà Nội and HCM City, the country’s two biggest cities, discharge about 80 tonnes of plastic and nylon waste per day.

The country’s plastics and nylon waste occupies about 8-12 per cent of daily solid waste.

Nguyễn Đình Hòa, acting director of the Audit Training School, said many countries pursuing increases in gross domestic product (GDP) faced unpredictable consequences of environmental pollution and climate change.

Economic development but increasing environmental pollution and effects on people’s health is not acceptable, he said.

Environmental audit will force enterprises to calculate expenses related to environmental protection, and then re-calculate products’ prices and GDP values.

Lưu Trường Kháng, deputy chief audit from the SAV, said via the audit, concerned organisations would have the foundation to promulgate, adjust and supplement policies related to waste management and improve work effectiveness.

The audit results helped people become more aware of waste management, and since then give warnings to those intending to harm the environment, he said. — VNS