Recently, the gross domestic product of Vietnam has increased at a rate of 7 percent or higher, providing continued stable economic growth. Supporting that rapid growth are the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy as well as urban sector development, though these factors have led to water pollution from industrial and residential wastewater along with an increase in solid waste, air pollution and other environmental problems. To respond to these conditions, the Vietnamese government revised its 1994 environmental protection law to take effect in July 2006 and the government is creating and improving other environmental laws and regulations. However, inadequacies in budgets, human resources and infrastructures have made it difficult to establish an effective environmental management system for the entire nation such that the central and local governments are unable to adequately function in that regard.
In response, JICA implemented the Project for Enhancing Capacity of Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology in Water Environment Protection from 2003 to 2006, targeting the Institute of Environmental Technology (IET) of the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology. Under that project, the capacity at the IET increased with respect to basic water quality control technologies such as water quality monitoring and wastewater treatment, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and related organizations have benefited greatly in the area of environmental protection.
Seeing the deep-reaching results of this cooperation, JICA is implementing a second phase to this project to make further environmental improvements. In phase 2, the IET branches in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang is coordinating with the main office in Hanoi to construct an integrated network to address the environmental problems facing the nation. The project is also revising existing manuals and guidelines, and providing training to IET personnel toward improving the scientific and technological level at the branches and the main office of the IET for monitoring, evaluating and otherwise responding to the water quality issues. Meanwhile, the IET is also involved with preparing an implementation plan and creating a system to provide science and technology services so they can respond to government agencies and others on environmental issues.
Through this project, the scientific and technological backbone will be strengthened for improving water quality at the IET, while improving the capacity to protect water by agencies in Vietnam.