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Vietnam, US launch new five-year project to reduce environmental pollution

The Vietnamese and US agencies on November 15 launched a five-year 11.3 million USD project called “Reducing Pollution” to help lessen environmental pollution in Vietnam.
The project is conducted by the United States Mission to Vietnam, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), through Vietnamese-led collective action.

The new project is implemented by USAID partner Winrock International in close cooperation with MONRE.

Joining the launch ceremony were MONRE Minister Tran Hong Ha, Deputy Chief of Mission Melissa Bishop, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director Aler Grubbs, and Winrock International President and CEO Rodney Ferguson.

“The launch of USAID’s Reducing Pollution project is an important part of the collaboration between USAID and MONRE. We signed an MOU in January 2022 to improve environmental outcomes, and this Reducing Pollution project is a great first milestone. Our joint efforts will raise awareness and promote actions led by Vietnamese to reduce environmental pollution and support Vietnam in achieving its climate change goals,” said Aler Grubbs, USAID/Vietnam Mission Director.

Vietnam faces a series of environmental pollution challenges largely spurred by agriculture, transportation, and industrial production.

Public interest in environmental quality has steadily increased, along with calls for action to improve the environment.

The Government of Vietnam released National Action Plans related to air quality, water conservation, and plastic waste pollution, demonstrating the country’s commitment to ensuring broad cooperation to address environmental pollution challenges.

Minister Ha expressed his confidence in the project’s success, as the new environmental law is being implemented nationwide, and called on all relevant parties, including experts, scientists, and organisations and agencies to create favourable conditions for the project to be carried out in Vietnam.

The Reducing Pollution project will address multiple sources of environmental pollution.  The project will bring together different people to collaborate, identify ways to solve a shared problem, and take action.

The project will work closely with MONRE’s Vietnam Environment Administration, and the project will demonstrate clear connections between environmental benefits and other social benefits, including public health, employment, and sustainable economic growth.

To foster Vietnamese leadership in addressing environmental pollution, the project will provide grants to a series of local entities to serve as the “backbone” for each collective impact initiative. These backbone organisations will serve as the local leaders for each initiative, including gaining public support, advancing policy, and leveraging additional funding.

Through a broad consultative process with authorised government agencies, local communities, and environmental experts, the Reducing Pollution project has identified six priority collective impact initiatives that reflect strong political will, community leadership, and engagement from private sector partners to address environmental pollution challenges.

Pioneering Company, Community and Consumer Responsibility in Plastic Waste Reduction in Vietnam (P3CR);

Developing Circular Economy Model in Medical Plastic Waste Management;

Reducing Air Pollution from Road Transportation;

Reducing Air Pollution from Open Burning;

Reducing Pollution in Craft Villages; and

Developing a Transparent Environmental Data Disclosure Platform.

Also at the launch event, the MONRE and Winrock International signed an agreement to promote cooperation in environmental protection, climate change, and biodiversity conservation in Vietnam./.