New environment law views people, businesses as crucial players in environmental protection hinh anh 1Workers sort waste at a waste treatment factory. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The 2020 Law on Environmental Protection, taking effect on January 1 this year, is expected to create substantial changes to people’s awareness and promote businesses’ action in this issue.

Nguyen Hung Thinh, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Environment Administration at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said this is the first time communities have been defined as a stakeholder in environmental protection. With this rule, the law is expected to help further bring into play the role of communities in environmental protection by encouraging their solidarity, mutual assistance, creativity, and initiatives in this regard.

To facilitate communities’ performance of their role, the law clarifies their rights and responsibilities, as well as the State’s support for their participation in environmental protection. In particular, it includes a regulation on the establishment of online systems for receiving, handling, and replying to opinions about environmental protection from organisations, individuals, and communities. Such systems will also enable people to monitor environment-related activities.

New environment law views people, businesses as crucial players in environmental protection hinh anh 2Young people take part in an environmental cleanup programme. (Photo: VNA)
Besides, Thinh added, the law also strongly changes the environmental management mindset by institutionalising the policy of promoting development based on laws of nature and not exchanging the environment for economic growth. Resources and management tools will be utilised to control about 20 percent of the big pollution sources.

Meanwhile, the law also backs the reform spirit in enterprises by encouraging environmentally friendly production activities, he went on, noting that environmental authorities will apply an appropriate management mechanism for each project.

For example, only projects with high risks of environmental pollution need to conduct environmental impact assessment. Those using advanced and eco-friendly technology will be licensed right in the stage of feasibility study and examined after they become operational, and they can register their environment-related aspects online with communal-level People’s Committees.

Thinh said a message of the 2020 Law on Environmental Protection is that people and businesses form an integral part of the environment, and that staying proactive and responsible for the environment also means ensuring people’s life quality and businesses’ sustainable development./.