Vietnam Rapid Growth

Topics: Environmentalism, Pollution, Air pollution Pages: 23 (5562 words) Published: March 17, 2013
This report is presented as received by IDRC from project recipient(s). It has not been subjected to peer review or other review processes. This work is used with the permission of Do Nam Thang. © 2008, Do Nam Thang.

Viet Nam’s rapid growth: at what environmental costs?

By Do Nam Thang, PhD Viet Nam Environmental Protection Administration Ministry of Natural Resources and Government 67 – Nguyen Du – Ha Noi – Viet Nam Email:

Paper presented at the Conference on ‘Emergence of Vietnam as a Middle Income Country: Opportunities, Constraints and Regional Implications’ 30-31 October 2008 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore




Located in Southeast Asia, Viet Nam has an area of 329,560 sq km and a population of 85 million. Viet Nam's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an average rate of about seven per cent per year in the period of 1997-2006. This makes Viet Nam one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Industrial production remains strong and investment solid. To attain a goal of having ‘rich people, strong country and a just, democratic and civilised society’, maintaining high economic growth rate is a key task set by the Government of Viet Nam (Viet Nam Political Bureau 2004).

However, parallel with economic growth, Viet Nam is facing environmental problems. These include deforestation, degradation in environmental quality in river basins, increase in municipal and industrial solid waste and soil erosion (Viet Nam Political Bureau 2004). Most industrial and municipal wastewaters are discharged untreated to rivers and that worsens surface water pollution. Municipal solid waste has increased at 15 per cent per annum while the capacity to collect and treat remains limited. About 50 per cent of land is losing its fertility due to overuse of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and improper cultivation practices (Viet Nam Political Bureau 2004).

This paper analyses the stress placed on the country’s environment resulting from the fast growth. The stress includes high population growth, rapid urbanisation, increased need for transport network expansion and exploitation of natural resources. The paper then analyses consequent environmental problems including air pollution, water pollution, solid waste and biodiversity loss. After reviewing policy responses to environmental problems as well as shortcomings of the policy responses, the paper provides a set of recommendations for the policymakers for their consideration. In this paper, it is argued that rapid growth has created serious environmental problems and that more effective policy responses are needed to tackle the problems.



Pressure on the environment

The environment has suffered from great pressure of several growth factors, including population growth and urbanisation, increased transport activities, expanded industry and construction activities and exploitation of natural resources.


Population growth and urbanisation

With the population of 85 million people, Viet Nam is the third in Southeast Asia and 14th in the world. The population annual growth rate is 1.7 per cent. The distribution of the population is uneven. The Mekong River Delta and Red River Delta account for only 17 per cent of the land, but are habitat for 43 per cent of the population. The uneven population density is due to uncontrolled migration from rural to urban areas. The migration from rural to urban areas is three times higher than the migration from urban to rural areas. For example, from 1994 to 1999, about 1.2 million people migrated from rural to urban areas, whereas only 0.4 million people moved from urban to rural areas (MONRE 2005a).

Associated with population growth is urbanisation. Over the last two decades, urbanisation has occurred rapidly. In 1990, there were 500 urban towns. This number increased to 650 in 2000 and 700 in 2004 (MONRE 2005b). The urban population growth...

References: Can, L.T., 2005. Environmental impact assessment in Viet Nam, Paper presented at the 2nd National Environment Congress, Ha Noi March 2005. Do, N.T., 2007. ‘Impacts of dykes on wetland values: a case study in the Plain of Reeds, Viet Nam’s Mekong River Delta’, Research Report, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), Singapore. Do, N.T., 2008. Impacts of alternative dyke management strategies on wetland values in Viet Nam’s Mekong River Delta, PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Do, N.T. and Phung, V.V., 2001. ‘Vai tro cua cong dong trong qua¸ trinh giam sat va tuan thu Luat Bao ve moi truong’ (Role of public in enforcement and compliance of the Law on Environmental Protection), Tap chi Bao ve moi truong (Viet Namese Journal of Environmental Protection), 9/2001. MONRE (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment), 2002. Cac khia canh ve dieu kien tu nhien dat ngap nuoc o Viet Nam (in Viet Namese) (Issues of Natural Conditions of wetlands in Viet Nam), Viet Nam: Viet Nam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. MONRE, 2005a. Bao Cao Hien Trang Moi Truong Viet Nam – Phan Da dang sinh hoc (State of the Environment Report - Biodiversity), Ha Noi, Viet Nam. MONRE, 2005b. Bao Cao Hien Trang Moi Truong Viet Nam – Phan Tong quan (State of the Environment Report - Overview), Ha Noi, Viet Nam. MONRE, 2006. Bao Cao Hien Trang Moi Truong Luu Vuc Song Environment of River Basin Report), Ha Noi, Viet Nam. (State of the
MONRE, 2007. Bao Cao Hien Trang Moi Truong Khong Khi Viet Nam 2007 (State of the Air Environment Report), Ha Noi, Viet Nam. MONRE/MOI/WB, 2007. Analysis of Pollution from Manufacturing Sectors in Viet Nam, Ha Noi, Viet Nam. NEA (National Environment Agency) 2002. Final report on the Project: Strengthening Capacity of Information Management, Ha Noi. Tien Phong, 18 October 2008. Cannot cease the operation of VEDAN
Triet. L.M., 2005. ‘Using economic instrument to forecast economic growth and pollution’, paper presented at the 2nd National Environmental Conference, Ha Noi, April 2005. Truong, D., 2007. ‘Vi sao chua khoi to hang loat vu nhap rac thai vao Viet Nam (Why has not illegal import of waste in Viet Nam been suited ?)’, (10/11/07). UNICEF, 2007. ‘Water and sanitation’, Nam/wes.html (20/11/07). VEPA (Vietnam Environmental Protection Agency) 2007. Bao cao tong ket cong tac (Annual Plan Report), Ha Noi, Vietnam. Viet Nam, Political Bureau, 2004. Nghi quyet 41 CT/TW ngay 15/11/2004 cua Bo Chinh tri ve Bao ve Moi truong trong thoi ky Cong nghiep hoa, Hien dai hoa dat nuoc (Political Bureau Directive No. 41 NQ/TW dated 15/11/2004 on Environmental Protection in the Industrialisation and Modernisation period), Ha Noi, Viet Nam. WHO, 2007. ‘Quantification of the disease burden attributable to environmental risk factors’, (20/10/07). World Bank, 2001. ‘Public, (15/6/03). disclosure’,
World Bank, 2002. Viet Nam Environment Monitor 2002, the World Bank Groups, Washington D.C.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Growth of a Rapid Cycling Brassica Essay
  • Rapid Population Growth in the Philippines Essay
  • Managing Rapid Population Growth Essay
  • vietnam Essay
  • Vietnam Economic : Growth or Not Essay
  • The rapid growth of computers in field of technology Research Paper
  • Impact of Rapid Population Growth in Developing Countries Research Paper
  • Essay about Vietnam

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free