The proposal of the XIV National Assembly to conduct Supreme supervision on water environment should be considered and a separate law on water pollution control should be put into the legislative work program of the Assembly with high feasibility as many countries have issued. That is the opinion of many delegates at the seminar on “Policy and legislation on water pollution control” recently held in Hanoi.
Water pollution - worsening trend
According to the statistical report of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment, the annual average is up to 9,000 people dying from contaminated water sources, up to 200,000 cases of cancer detection that an important reason is the use of polluted water.
Water quality is at risk beyond control due to the impact of development activities; inconsistencies in mining, sharing of water resources between industries, economic sectors; from the management of the State and especially the policies and laws that have not been completed, lack of many rules and regulations on the control of water quality. Therefore, the good protection and management of water resources has been seen as priorities in the national development objectives. In particular, policies and laws on water control should be top priority.
Jointly discussing the gaps in existing policies and document systems, at the seminar, experts of many ministries have proposed solutions and actions to stop and reverse the trend of water pollution which is increasingly severe in Vietnam today. In particular, the delegates have emphasized the need to put a separate law on water pollution control on the legislative work program of the National Assembly with high feasibility as many countries in the world have issued in order to contribute to building solid foundation for the sustainable development of Vietnam in the 21st century.
A separate law should be developed
At the seminar, Mrs. Nguyen Ngoc Ly - Director of the Centre for Environmental and Community Research (CECR) – the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations recognized that preservation of clean water and sustainable development are two inseparable concepts. For the nation’s sustainable development, ensuring investment for economic development, ensuring the health of the human, one of the current jobs to be done firstly is to control, prevent and stop the sources of water pollution, especially in surface water.
“Although the prevention and control of water pollution has been institutionalized in many legal documents of the State but water pollution tends to be increasingly aggravated. Therefore, the need is to complete and issue an intensive legal document, with uniformity, consistency, and high feasibility to adjust the content of water and water pollution control”, Mrs. Ly said.
At the same point of view, Mr. Duong Thanh An – Head of Department of Policy and Legislation – the Vietnam Environment Administration (Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment) said that our system of policy and legislation on control of water pollution still had many legal issues on planning surveys, environmental assessments, waste source control, pollution remedy, evaluation of incidents and damage compensation, organizational management and coordination, financial resources... So, we need to adjust the regulations of existing law in order to avoid duplication of the existing system of legal instruments, while building a comprehensive, unified, and separate law on water pollution control with the attention on roadmap, enactment.