Protecting living environment, people's health - top goal of Vietnam: spokesperson hinh anh 1Fishermen and border guards collect and bury dead fish washed ashore in 2016. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has reiterated Vietnam's consistent stance that protecting the living environment and people's health is always the top goal, without sacrificing the environment for economic growth, in response to the information that some US congressmen sent a letter of protest to the Taiwanese (China) authorities saying Vietnam's handling of the Formosa case was not satisfactory.

The official stated that Vietnam is determined to eliminates projects that cause environmental pollution, ensure the quality of the living environment, protect biodiversity and ecosystems, and build a green, circular, and environmentally friendly economy.

According to her, immediately after a marine environmental incident taking place in four central provinces of Vietnam in 2016, the Party, Government, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers drastically directed relevant ministries, sectors and localities to work on the case, investigate the causes and deploy concerted solutions to tackle the incident and stabilise the lives of people in the affected areas.

In the face of clear scientific evidence, the Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh iron and steel company limited accepted responsibility for compensating damages according to regulations, and apologised to the people and Government of Vietnam.

Under the PM’s assignment and direction, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) established a supervisory council and an inter-sectoral supervision group to monitor Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh’s work to address the consequences of the marine environmental incident in the four central provinces.

Between July 2016 and now, the council and group have closely monitored and conducted periodical and irregular inspections of the company’s implementation of its environment protection commitments, the spokesperson said, adding that the PM also issued a decision approving a scheme on determining the damage, providing compensation, supporting the restoration of production, and ensuring social security for people affected by the marine environmental incident in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien – Hue provinces.

Hang said according to the MONRE’s latest report, after six years of conducting the inter-sectoral monitoring mechanism, the company’s remedy of violations has been completed and its commitments on environmental protection have been fully implemented. Currently, the firm’s production activities as well as the lives of people in the area have returned to normal./.