Hydrobiology’s Ross Smith and Trang Huynh recently had a very busy and productive trip to Vietnam, attending two different conferences and taking part in several meeting with government and industry representatives.
They first attended the 3rd International Conference on Environmental Pollution, Recovery and Management in Quy Nhon to discuss pollution management. The conference, attended by around 170 people discussed the challenges that face Vietnam in managing its environment while also developing economically. Ross, as Vice President of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, said that the society represented an established network of world-class scientists who were able to help and advise Vietnam in managing its environment.
In addition, a round table discussion was held with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and environmental scientists from across the globe. There, Ross and MONRE Minister Trần Hồng Hà had a discussion on how the international community of environmental scientists might assist Vietnam in managing its environment.
Ross and Trang then attended two meetings in Ha Noi with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vinacomin Informatics, Technology, Environment joint stock company, which has responsibilities for investing in and supporting the Vietnamese mining industry, including environmental protections.
This was followed by a meeting with the People’s Committee of Ha Tinh, to further discuss environmental management practices in HaTinh and a visit to the Vung Ang Industrial Zone, where the Formosa Steel Plant is located. While the Formosa Steel Plant is a major economic boon to the region, and a large employer, it has been implicated in a massive loss of marine life in the surrounding sea, due to the illegal discharge of industrial waste, highlighting the need for better environmental management practices in Vietnam.
The final leg of this journey was a second conference, the International Conference on Environmental Management & Sustainable Development at Ha Tinh University. There, Trang gave a presentation on environmental management in developing countries, particularly Vietnam. They discussed a framework for dealing with environmental disasters within the public sector, particularly in strengthening enforcement and the public’s role in monitoring the environment.
All in all, it was a very busy and productive trip for Hydrobiology, with the possibility that there may be more trips to Vietnam in the future.