The active role performed by regulatory authorities

Posted at: FRIday - 08/09/2017 18:07 - post name: Cộng tác viên

The active role performed by regulatory authorities

The Vice President of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), Dr.Sc. Nghiem Vu Khai discussed that, the participation of social-occupational organizations, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) in environment protection is very important; thus in the upcoming period, it is necessary for the regulatory authorities to be more active, progressive to mobilize and attract the engagement of these organizations.

Important roles:

- What do you think about the role of  social- occupational organizations, NGOs in environment protection?

- While the environment protection is facing with many problems due to the dependence on natural resource exploitation of the growth model relying on eco-friendly technology; the awareness on environment protection of citizen and enterprises remains inadequate, especially the limited governmental budget for the environment protection. Therefore, the call for participation of those organizations is very essential.

In fact, the social-occupational organizations play a significant role in the environment protection, ranging from the policy building to evaluation, approval and especially the implementation of the Law on Environment Protection as well as relevant regulations. Besides, annually, the International NGOs in Vietnam finance hundreds of billions Vietnam dong for a number of activities, in which a significant amount of such money is for environment protection. Similarly, VUSTA’s affiliated members also have many successful environment protection models for the communities; thereby people’s knowledge and awareness on climate change and the environment protection has been improved. Moreover, these organizations also take part in social judgment on the environment against investment projects. They promptly warn governmental authorities, and private organizations in supervising the compliance with Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) performed by enterprises and investors.

- A number of environmental incidents, including serious ones currently have occurred. Public opinions have raised question about the responsibilities of social-occupational organizations, NGOs, including scientists, environmental experts, please give your opinion about this matter.


Technician took part in industrial wastewater treatment

Source: ITN



- The scientists, scientific organizations involve in the process of building, evaluation, and approval of EIA report shall have to bear responsibilities in case of any violations and incidents. In the event that the regulatory authorities fail to provide them sufficient information, they cannot be blamed for environment incidents. Meanwhile, if they have idea of the situation, they do not speak out or exaggerate facts without relying on scientific arguments and cause widespread panic, they are irresponsible and deserved to be blamed.

Capacity building

- Article 145 of the Law on Environmental Protection defines the responsibilities and powers of socio-political organizations and socio-occupational organizations in environmental protection. According to you, have the state regulatory authorities specializing in the environment at all levels really facilitated these organizations to exercise their powers?

 -  In my opinion, basically, the regulatory authorities, including the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, have facilitated social-occupational organizations in providing information, inviting these organizations for consultancy of relevant projects, receiving feedbacks and judgments from them on environmental protection, etc. The information provided by socio-occupational organizations is more diversified and practical than that of some regulatory authorities. Therefore, the coordination between the two sides is very important, which will make regulatory authorities aware of the shortcomings in current regulations, thereby improving the efficiency in building and implementing laws on the environment.

 At the Workshop, the talk enhancing involvement of socio-occupational organizations and Vietnamese NGOs in environment protection held by Vietnam Environment Administration  (VEA) on the morning of August 09, the Director General of Vietnam Environment Administration Mr. Nguyen Van Tai said that for the upcoming period, VEA would establish the hot-line at all levels to gather information, promptly settle environmental incidents. In addition, VEA will build up a network connecting to enterprises, citizens and socio-occupational organizations, and NGOs in environment protection; establish a working group comprising of representatives from VEA, VUSTA and those organizations specializing in environment protection because this is a considerable and complicated issue that needs their close cooperation.

- So how do you explain the fact in some socio-occupational organizations and NGOs whose scientists gave feedback that they were not invited for environment consultancy, even they were impersonated in evaluation and judgment regarding some projects?

- It is necessary to confirm that impersonation is illegal and needs to be handled in accordance with the relevant laws. The reason for this impersonation is that people believe in scientists, their prestige, self-esteem and qualifications. Such cases are not popular, and the behavior of impersonation will be handed according to the regulations of law. It is a pity that the involvement of socio-occupational organizations and NGOs in the environment protection is sometimes not really welcomed. Normally, those who want to evade their responsibility for environment protection do not want to hear or accept scientific-based opinions which are against their intention.

- Finally, for the upcoming time, what is the solution to attract socio-occupational organizations and NGOs to participate more positively in environment protection?

 - In my opinion, regulatory authorities must play the active role, which means they must be really progressive, and there should be more policies to encourage and facilitate the involvement of those organizations. Besides, it is clear that capacity building is a very essential factor for those organizations to contribute more in environment protection. VUSTA is focusing on building the vision, strategies, administration capacity on finance management, and competence to call for resources, funds and communication, etc. to support its affiliated members. In addition, the regulations of law need to be improved more, in which it is necessary to consider the approval of the Law on Associations to push up the social progress and ensure the governmental administration.

- Thank you!



Author: Vu Thuy – Nguyen Ngoc
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