Vietnam and U.S. Work Together to Address Environmental Pollution Issues

At a workshop held recently, representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and various localities detailed the progress made in response to environmental pollution in Vietnam over the past 7 years, the result of collective efforts between all involved parties.

Vietnam and US Cooperate to Tackle Environmental Pollution Challenges
The international seminar “Local Initiatives – Cooperation and Development for the Environment of Vietnam” took place over two days, June 21-22, in Da Nang. Photo: USAID

On June 21, in Da Nang, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the People’s Committee, and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Da Nang City, along with local partners, organized an international seminar titled “Local Initiatives – Cooperation and Development for the Environment of Vietnam”.

This event aims to summarize the results achieved through the collaborative efforts of the parties over the past 7 years to address environmental pollution challenges in Vietnam.

In his speech at the event, Bradley Bessire, Deputy Mission Director of USAID Vietnam, said, “Today, we are summarizing the results of our joint efforts and looking towards the future as we hand over successful models and products from USAID-funded projects to local governments for maintenance.

Together, we have fostered innovation and experimentation to tackle pollution problems with models and initiatives that have great potential to be replicated across the country”.

Through five USAID-funded projects with a total budget of US$7.2 million, partners have worked with a wide range of stakeholders to raise awareness and take action to tackle air pollution, water pollution, and plastic waste pollution challenges.

These activities include developing a new data framework on environmental health and pollution issues, forming a network of stakeholders at central and local levels to take joint action, facilitating diverse and transparent dialogues, providing scientific input for policy formulation, mobilizing local resources for locally-led initiatives, and piloting pollution reduction and sustainable resource management models.

Vietnam and US Cooperate to Tackle Environmental Pollution Challenges
The handover ceremony of local initiative results for 5 projects within the framework of the workshop. Photo: USAID

The projects have provided information to support the development of the revised Law on Water Resources Management, supported stakeholders in successfully developing and advocating for the application of 8 local-level policies, including the requirement for more effective air quality studies and solutions for monitoring air quality.

They have also simultaneously controlled outdoor waste burning and motorcycle emissions, raising a total of US$2.1 million through 5 projects for local efforts, supporting 15 local-led initiatives contributing to the realization of the project “Building Da Nang – an environmental city”.

The Vietnam Water Conservation Network (VIWACON) was established, building a network of more than 80 member organizations to act jointly for clean water.

They have supported 21 solid waste management models for waste collection, sorting, and recycling, equivalent to the weight of 200 passenger cars, and have built 48 water supply systems in schools and communities, benefiting more than 5,400 students, teachers, and households.

They have also promoted citizen participation in environmental monitoring and reducing urban air pollution, such as the installation of air quality sensors in more than 100 schools and offices in Hanoi.

Below are five USAID-funded projects implemented as part of the global program “Local Initiatives,” supporting locally-led development projects in more than 30 countries around the world.

– The project “Join hands to protect water resources,” implemented by the Center for Environmental and Community Research (CECR) from 2020 to 2023 in Da Nang and Hoi An.

– The project “Join hands to act for clean air,” implemented by the Center for Living and Learning for Environment and Community (Live&Learn) from 2019 to 2022 in Hanoi and Da Nang.

– The project “Vietnam local works for environmental health,” implemented by the Institute of Population, Health and Development (PHAD) from 2017 to 2022 in An Giang, Thanh Hoa, Ha Nam, and Ha Giang.

– The project “Clean Air – Green City,” implemented by Live&Learn from 2017 to 2020 in Hanoi.

Rosie Nguyen