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Additional legal management tools to protect the environment established

(02:11:40 PM, 27/09/2017)

The issue of environmental protection is tightly linked with ensuring political and social stability as well as economic development

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is reviewing the provisions of the Law on Environmental Protection (2014), taking into account international experience.

* International experience

Despite the fact that environmental risks can be limited due to the legal corridor, sometimes the mechanisms and policies on solving environmental disputes in Vietnam are not able to cover practice.

Addressing the issue at a recent seminar at Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, over 50 international scholars said that legal issues in environmental protection have somewhat shown initial experiences from the world.

In the experience of state management in environmental protection, the standards of the European Union (EU) is said to havecertain success. Recently, many countries such as India, South Korea, Russia, Malaysia and Egypt have also been pursuing EU experience in identifying the industries at most risk to be listed in the "Red List". Thus, the development of new environmental standards can be achieved by applying the best available technologies (BAT) to these industries.

Accordingly, Russia and the Republic of Korea have set up mechanisms to control the discharge of most polluting industries by applying economic tools such as collecting excess emissions charges and requesting for the purchase of compulsory environmental responsibility insurance. Of course, there will also be an appropriate roadmap for businesses in the industries on the list to have time to upgrade the technology to meet regulatory requirements.

Coming from Singapore, Prof. Gary Chan Kok Yew from Singapore Management School said that in addition to applying civil and criminal liability and other legal remedies, Singapore also uses education and community efforts to reduce environmental environment.

Typically, the 2013 Community-Based Volunteer Project (NEA) helps solve waste problems. Accordingly, the NEA can designate citizens over 18 years of age or long-term permanent residents to be "subordinate officer", having equivalent enforcement powers to environmental protection officials in dealing with residents’ behavior which causes pollution.

Vietnam's move

In April, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung requested the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Vietnam to make a "Red List" for Vietnam. It is a special control scheme for establishments that are likely to cause high environmental pollution.

According to Dr. Michael Parsons, an environmental policy expert with many years of cooperation and working with MONRE, initially "Vietnam's Red List" named 20 industries with high emissions with the risk of causing high pollution.

At the same time, MONRE is reviewing the Law on Environmental Protection (2014), taking into account international experience to establish more appropriate economic instruments for Vietnam. "Revising the Law on Environmental Protection, Vietnam wishes to introduce a system of environmental protection based on the objective observation and evaluation of industrial changes, expected economic growth as well as make use of lessons learned from other countries, " said Dr. Michael Parsons.

According to Dr. Michael Parsons, international experience shows that the management of emissions activities of facilities in the Red List is best implemented through integrated environmental licensing with specific regulations on emission limits. In particular, there are regulations limiting emissions to land, water and air.

In addition, many solutions were proposed at the workshop such as the need to apply the emission licensing mechanism; compulsory environmental liability insurance; to continue to study the mode of collective litigation for environmental disputes, promote community responsibility; to continue to research and develop a committee on environmental dispute resolution under the management of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, etc... Vietnam needs to make positive efforts to improve the environmental policy and law towards the direction of sustainable development, attaching the issue of environmental protection with the assurance of political and social stability and economic development.