Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the event. (Source: VNA)

Environmental protection is both the target and basic content of sustainable development, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at the fourth National Conference on the Environment in Hanoi on September 30.

Climate change, environmental pollution and energy and water resource security have become global issues that cannot be addressed by a single country, the leader said.

Aware of the need for environmental protection, the Vietnamese Party and State have issued a string of relevant policies and guidelines, he stated.

The leader expounded the country’s achievements in protecting the environment over the past five years with improved policies and laws, revamped management apparatuses from central to grassroots levels, greater investments and enhanced international cooperation that helped update technology and increase resources for the work.

However, he said, limitations still remain such as increasing environmental degradation in many areas, overexploitation of natural resources, overlapping and unfeasible policies and laws, the lack of skilled managers and the limited involvement of the community in environmental protection.

PM Dung quoted a report presented at the conference which warned that without adequate attention given to the issue, environmental pollution can increase three-fold in the next 10 years, and for every 1 percent growth in the country’s GDP, environmental pollution will cause a 3 percent loss to the GDP.

As such, the leader underlined the need to complete documents guiding the implementation of the Law on Environmental Protection and amend the Law on Biodiversity and relevant laws.

Essential action points include increasing communications work to raise public awareness of the matter; heightening management capacity of officials at all levels, especially at the grassroots level; and diversifying investment resources for the environment by promoting investment from all economic sectors, encouraging public-private cooperation models and the establishment of environment funds run by businesses, he noted.

Other tasks include accelerating the research and application of scientific and technological advancements in coping with climate change, natural resource management and environmental protection, the PM said.

Apart from tightening environmental inspections, it is necessary for Vietnam to boost international cooperation and integration in a bid to mobilise resources, he said, stressing efforts to fulfil the UN post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

The leader took the occasion to thank UN agencies, the World Bank, international organisations and friends for their support while expressing his hope to continue receiving assistance in addressing the especially important issue.

Vietnam stands ready to cooperate with the international community to preserve the global environment, he affirmed.

The National Conference on Environment, which takes place every five years, drew 1,000 delegates from ministries, agencies, localities and international organisations.

Besides a plenary session, the conference included workshops on state management of and the application of science-technology in the environment sector. An international exhibition was also held on the occasion.-VNA