Minister of Natural Resources and Environment recalls his eventful 5-year term

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Tran Hong Ha recently spoke with VietNamNet about his five-year term on the ‘hot seat’, and about dealing with environmental incidents, preoccupations and plans.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment recalls his eventful 5-year term

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Tran Hong Ha

In April 2016, Tran Hong Ha officially became the fourth Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment. Just days later, the Formosa sea environment incident occurred, affecting provinces in the central region.

At 6 pm on April 27, 2016, many reporters were seen gathering at the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) head office. They were waiting for the outcome of the meeting between the representatives of seven ministries and branches and the leaders of Formosa Ha Tinh, which caused the unprecedented incident.

At 8 pm, the meeting ended. MONRE’s Deputy Minister Vo Tuan Nhan provided initial information.

Two months later, on June 29, 2016, the management board of Formosa Ha Tinh publicly apologized to the Vietnamese Government and people for the incident.

After Formosa, many events related to the environment occurred, including Vinh Tan Thermopower Plant seeking permission to submerge sludge and waste in the Hon Cau sea; drought and saline intrusion in Mekong Delta, anf landslides in the southern part of the central region; the leaking of mercury caused by a fire at the Rang Dong Light Source and Vacuum Flask factory; and waste oil spill that polluted the clean water supply source.

Having experienced a 5-year term, the head of the ‘super-ministry’ which manages nine different fields, admitted that his term was full of events.

“There were always burning issues in the fields under the ministry’s management. We were in a state of constant anxiety. We had to gather all strength to solve the problems,” Ha recalled.

He said this was not a surprise, because the Party and the State have determined that it is now the transition period when Vietnam shifts from developing an economy making full use of natural resources to developing an economy in a sustainable way and not causing bad impact on the environment. Vietnam has now developed an economy based on tight control over natural resources, while taking the initiative in adapting to climate change.

Ha said that this was an important lesson in natural resources and environment management. Vietnam will have to pay a heavy price if it continues following the principle of developing economy first and treating the environment later. The Formosa incident was a lesson.

The lesson learned was that it was necessary to establish management tools for large-scale projects such as Formosa. This requires management agencies to learn international practice so as to approach technologies, and to have better capability to adjust policies and management tools.

In addition, it is necessary to reconsider the policies related to natural resources management and proactive adaptation to climate change. Environmental protection should be implemented under which prevention is the key.

“In dealing with problems in land, water, mineral resources management, we listened to localities to understand and solve the problems in a transparent and scientific way with simplified administrative procedures, while ensuring that natural resources could be used effectively,” Ha said.

Shifting from passive to active management

 
Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment recently spoke with VietNamNet about his five-year term on the ‘hot seat’, and about dealing with environmental incidents, preoccupations and plans.

According to the Minister, with many policies and decrees, natural resources and environment management is no longer in passive way, but it is prepared methodically and comprehensively in policies, while the awareness of all levels and the people about the environment has been heightened.

Natural resources are managed closely and used effectively. Mineral resources and geological value are investigated, managed and used effectively in association with the processing industry, contributing to growth. The advantages of territorial waters and coastal areas have been promoted, making up 60 percent of the country’s GDP.

In 2020, when the budget collection faced difficulties, the collection from land still fulfilled 133 percent of the plan, while minerals represented 112 percent.

Water resources have step by step been managed and used in a sustainable way, ensuring water security for multi purposes, with the focus on settling water pollution at big rivers.

The policies on responding to climate change have been implemented systematically with a strategic vision. The hydrometeorological forecasting has been modernized and improved to help ministries, branches and localities take the initiative in planning their production and business and has mitigated damages caused by natural calamities.

In the 2019-2020 drought and saline intrusion season, while the impact degree was 2-2.5 times higher than 2016, the toll was 9.6 percent lower.

With support from the people, at the end of the working term, the viewpoints and management methods changed basically. The ‘brown economy’ and ‘brown energy’ models have shifted to ‘green economy’ and ‘green energy’, from unsustainable to sustainable economy, in which environmental issues have a considerable impact.

In an effort to better manage a wide range of nine fields, MONRE has been applying information technology largely in its operations, from management and instruction to monitoring to surveying.

“We are one of the pioneering ministries in building and forming a digital government,” Ha said.

At least 85 percent of people say they are satisfied about the public services provided by the ministry. 

Kien Trung

HCM City determined to solve noise pollution

HCM City determined to solve noise pollution

HCM City Vice Chairman Vo Van Hoan has required relevant agencies to take urgent and drastic action to deal with noise pollution.

Environment ministry builds digital map, responding to 1-billion tree programme

Environment ministry builds digital map, responding to 1-billion tree programme

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has built a digital tree map in Vietnam to serve the identification of planting sites as well as management and taking care of trees throughout the country.

 
 

Other News

.
The Prime Minister of drastic actions and breakthrough thinking
The Prime Minister of drastic actions and breakthrough thinking
FEATUREicon  09/04/2021 

Mr. Pham Minh Chinh has taken office as the new Prime Minister of Vietnam. 

Why do Vietnamese PhDs want to write  research articles and not pursue applied research?
Why do Vietnamese PhDs want to write research articles and not pursue applied research?
FEATUREicon  09/04/2021 

Professor Truong Nguyen Thanh says four challenges exist for the development of applied research in Vietnam.

Farmer looks to the internet to improve skills, income
Farmer looks to the internet to improve skills, income
FEATUREicon  08/04/2021 

Phan Van Hung now earns half billion dong a year after studying farming techniques on the Internet.

The politician who goes to wholesale market, wades in water to visit people
The politician who goes to wholesale market, wades in water to visit people
FEATUREicon  08/04/2021 

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, 67, on April 5, took the oath of office before the National Assembly, people, and voters. This is the first time that an incumbent Prime Minister was elected State President.

Vietnamese enjoy high-end tours at surprisingly low fees
Vietnamese enjoy high-end tours at surprisingly low fees
FEATUREicon  07/04/2021 

Travel firms have been advised to focus on the domestic market for the immediate time. However, they also need to draw up new strategies and new programs to conquer this group of travelers.

Hybrid electric vehicles to account for 30% of market by 2030
Hybrid electric vehicles to account for 30% of market by 2030
FEATUREicon  07/04/2021 

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), which have maximum fuel economy, low emissions and smooth operation, are suited to Vietnam’s climate and transport conditions, experts say.

Sai Gon’s ‘knights' offer aid to people in distress
Sai Gon’s ‘knights' offer aid to people in distress
FEATUREicon  07/04/2021 

The kindness of "night-road knights" has made a massive contribution to reducing traffic accidents, and has won acclaim from the people and the government of Binh Tan District, HCM City.

ICT Minister answers key questions about digital transformation
ICT Minister answers key questions about digital transformation
FEATUREicon  06/04/2021 

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung posed key questions and outlined solutions to digital transformation issues at a recent meeting with officials of the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

National Assembly - Highest organ of State power, highest representative body of the people
National Assembly - Highest organ of State power, highest representative body of the people
FEATUREicon  06/04/2021 

Within the State apparatus of Vietnam, the National Assembly (NA) is the highest representative body of the people and the highest organ of State power of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Vietnamese engineers register inventions in the US
Vietnamese engineers register inventions in the US
FEATUREicon  06/04/2021 

The strategy of mastering the high-tech industry at a world-class level has been the foundation for Viettel Group’s engineers to now have four patents protected as intellectual property in the US.

Prices surge on stock market, VN Index reaches record high
Prices surge on stock market, VN Index reaches record high
FEATUREicon  05/04/2021 

Many new investors have made high profits after the stock market reached a record high.

From Tho Nguyen to Ryan Kazy: high profits are made from YouTube content for children
From Tho Nguyen to Ryan Kazy: high profits are made from YouTube content for children
FEATUREicon  06/04/2021 

Developing content on YouTube has proven to be very profitable for young creators, from a 29-year-old Vietnamese girl to a 9-year-old boy from Texas.

Wind power: investors wait for PM’s decision on Feed-in-Tariff price
Wind power: investors wait for PM’s decision on Feed-in-Tariff price
FEATUREicon  06/04/2021 

The Feed in Tariff (FIT) price of VND2,000 per kwh will expire in seven months, but the price for the next period has not been fixed yet.

"VietNamNet has a great opportunity to take the lead in digital technology"
"VietNamNet has a great opportunity to take the lead in digital technology"
FEATUREicon  05/04/2021 

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said that the digital age is coming and it will fundamentally change our lives. VietNamNet should be a newspaper that applies the most of the new technology.

Local authorities struggle to stop real estate bubble
Local authorities struggle to stop real estate bubble
FEATUREicon  03/04/2021 

The real estate market remains feverish not because of high demand and short supply, but because of speculation, experts have said.

Will Vietnam compete with Thailand, Indonesia to manufacture electric cars?
Will Vietnam compete with Thailand, Indonesia to manufacture electric cars?
FEATUREicon  04/04/2021 

In Southeast Asia, Thailand and Indonesia are running a race to become electric car manufacturing centers of the region and the world. Will Vietnam join the race?

Vuong Dinh Hue held many midnight meetings before becoming NA chair
Vuong Dinh Hue held many midnight meetings before becoming NA chair
FEATUREicon  02/04/2021 

Having "gone through the mill" when he was Minister of Finance, Deputy PM, and Hanoi Party Committee Secretary, Vuong Dinh Hue has left an impressive legacy as a leader who took serious action on many matters.

Intensive-care physician faces daily 'battle of wits' with critical Covid-19 cases
Intensive-care physician faces daily 'battle of wits' with critical Covid-19 cases
FEATUREicon  02/04/2021 

Dr Pham Van Phuc has been honored as one of the 10 outstanding young faces of Hanoi in 2021.

Students fascinated by traditional music instruments after schools introduce new lessons
Students fascinated by traditional music instruments after schools introduce new lessons
FEATUREicon  02/04/2021 

Tran Hai Dang, deputy director of the Vietnam Institute of Musicology, says that many students are familiar with the western guitar, violin and piano but lack knowledge about traditional Vietnamese instruments.

Big businesses pour billions of dong into land purchases in Da Nang
Big businesses pour billions of dong into land purchases in Da Nang
FEATUREicon  01/04/2021 

While other land markets are hot, Da Nang remains very quiet, prompting many investors from Hanoi and HCM City to collect land plots in advantageous positions in "bottom fishing" deals.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN