VietNamNet Bridge – A seminar to warm up a project for cleaning up hotspots of dioxin contamination in Vietnam was held in Hanoi on December 15.
The event was co-organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The project, which will be implemented from 2010 to 2014, aims to overcome wartime dioxin aftermaths, reduce the devastation of dioxin on the environment and health risks for people living and working in three main hot spots including Da Nang and Phu Cat airports in central Vietnam and Bien Hoa airport in the southern province of Dong Nai.
Delegates focused on discussions on devising plans to treat dioxin contamination and the funding for the project.
Especially, they debated issues related to concentration of dioxin at the three hotspots.
Richard J.Cooke, an international consultant for the Office of The National Steering Committee on overcoming toxic chemicals used by US during the war in Vietnam (Office 33) said the project should pay attention to the basic requirements of technologies for treating dioxin to meet both international and Vietnam’s technical and environmental safety standards.
“Priorities should also be given to technologies which are likely to be implemented in Vietnam immediately through commercial provisions as well as the practical application of these technologies for dioxin contamination in Vietnam”, he said.
Delegates said there should be strict co-ordination between Office 33 and relevant ministries and agencies, especially the Ministry of Defence. They stated the steering committee should also pay more attention to necessary funding sources for the full remediation of all dioxin hot spots.
According to Office 33, US troops sprayed about 80 million litres of herbicides in southern Vietnam during the wartime from 1961 to 1971.