Ministry asked to speed up green growth criteria hinh anh 1An illegal quarry in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong (Photo:

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) — Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to formulate a set of green growth criteria for Vietnam to better harmonise economic growth with environmental protection.

Speaking at the ministry’s conference to review the implementation of environmental policies in 2020, Dung also called for efforts from the ministry to control large sources of waste, prevent the risk of negative environmental incidents, step up programmes to deal with pollution and improve air and water quality.

Environment Minister Tran Hong Ha said 2020 was a difficult year for Vietnam as it suffered serious damage from COVID-19 and natural disasters.

However, the country’s environmental sector still managed to record encouraging achievements.

He highlighted major environmental policies taking effect last year, especially the 2020 Law on Environmental Protection, which aimed at achieving harmony between socio-economic development and environmental protection and enhancing effectiveness in using natural resources for national development.

Over the year, environment authorities also worked with agencies to uncover and punish violations of environmental regulations as well as enhance public awareness on environmental protection.

According to the ministry, last year, agencies under the ministry conducted 137 inspections which helped detect administrative violations at 106 units, collecting fines worth a total of 17.2 billion VND (746,000 USD).

In the last four years, the environment ministry conducted 641 administrative inspections at 4,253 units. More than 750 units were found to violate environmental administrative regulations during the period, paying total fines of more than 143.7 billion VND. 

Inspections also forced individuals and organisations to pay some 800 million VND to the State budget and compensate more than 11 trillion VND to people who were affected by their violations.

According to Minister Ha, last year, the country’s natural resources were managed strictly and used effectively, with illegal mining fundamentally eliminated./.