Danish Embassy: Environment goes up in smoke

Rapid industrialisation has left a dirty footprint on the
nation’s once pristine environment.
    “Air pollution in
Vietnam, particularly in urban areas such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, is now
at a red-alert stage,” said the Danish embassy to Vietnam’s deputy head of
mission Tove Degnbol.Degnbol’s first words marked the start of international
organisation representative speeches to mark the report’s release.
    The Swiss-Vietnam Clean Air Programme (SVCAP) also said air
pollution in many urban areas in Vietnam was three to four times
higher than permissible limits. The fast pace of urbanisation, including
widespread construction and heavy vehicular traffic and industrial production
activities, are leaving urban areas gasping for breath.
    According to the MoNRE report, traffic is responsible for 70
per cent of air pollution in Vietnam
and accounts for 85 per cent of carbon monoxide (CO) and 95 per cent of
volatile organic compounds. Meanwhile, industrial activities contribute the
most sulphur dioxide (SO2) to air pollution in Vietnam’s urban areas.
    Under the report, currently-applied
air pollution standards will be revised together with the building of a
national-level air quality management plan involving the participation of the
ministries of Transportation, Industries and Trade, Construction and Finance.
    The reports also underlined the deeper cooperation in
controlling air pollution between Vietnam
and international organisations such as the Clean Air Initiative for Asian
Cities Partnership, a multi-sector forum on urban air quality in Asia, the World Bank, the SVCAP, the Japan International
Cooperation Agency and the Danish International Development Agency.


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