Environment related disputes second biggest to land disputes

VietNamNet Bridge – More and more environment related disputes have been reported. Meanwhile, competent agencies only have been trying to settle the disputes to ensure the public security, while they cannot settle the environment problems to every root.

environment dispute, land dispute

Dr. Duong Dinh Giam, Head of the Industrial Policy and Strategy Institute (IPSI), has noted that the dispute relating to the environment problems has become a burning issue in the society, and that it is second only to the land disputes in terms of the cases’ scale and seriousness.

A survey conducted by IPSI in five localities, including HCM City, Dong Nai, Thai Nguyen, Hung Yen and Da Nang, showed that the environment pollution in industrial zones have been discovered mostly by local people. In most cases, enterprises only admitted the behavior of causing pollution when local people put pressure on local authorities to intervene the cases.

The specific characteristic of the environment disputes in Vietnam is that the damages occur on a large scale and influence many people.

Also according to IPSI, due to the limited ability in measuring the damages caused by the pollution and the lack of information transparency, the disputes have not been settled to the every root.

In Vietnam, the administration mechanism has been used to settle the environment disputes. However, administration agencies only settle the disputes as the conflicts that affect the public security, not as environment problems.

Since local people cannot put a high hope on the local authorities or the administration agencies, in many cases, they took actions spontaneously in accordance with the “law of the jungle.”

On June 13, 2013, hundreds of people in Duy Tan commune in Hai Duong province encircled the Proniken factory of Truong Khanh Company Ltd, after they failed to negotiate with the factory’s leadership about the compensation for damages caused by the factory.

The smoke and waste water from the factory was believed to kill fish in a series of ponds nearby and make it suffocating.

One month later, on July 14, hundreds of people gathered in front of the factory and blocked the way to the factory.

In fact, the Kinh Mon district’s authorities released a notice in May requesting Trung Khanh Company to stop its production activities. However, the factory still kept operation underhand.

In Khanh Hoa province, in June 2013, nearly 100 people gathered in front of the Khatoco tobacco material factory to protest against the polluting enterprise.

Local people said the noise, the bad odor and the dust from the factory have been badly affected their lives.

Khatoco’s Director Dang Thai Luyen has asked for the provincial authorities’ permission to relocate the households close to the factory and set up a 50 meter greenery belt.

ISPI has suggested establishing the environment committees belonging to provincial authorities which would receive the public complaints about the environment problems. The committees also act as the intermediaries to conciliate the two parties. They would be in charge of measuring the damages and define the compensation levels enterprises have to pay to people.

In the long term, according to Dr. Le Minh Duc, Head of the institute’s research team, setting up an environment court is very necessary.

Nhi Anh

environment dispute, land dispute