Vietnam, Japan team up for ocean waste management


Vietnam’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Dang Quoc Khanh, held a working session with JapaneseMinister of Environment, Nishimura Akihiro, on August 25 regarding collaboration in environment protection and climate change response. 

Khanh told his Japanese counterpart that Vietnam is always at the forefront of climate change response and is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. 

The government has been actively partnering with other developed nations to implement the Political Declaration on establishing the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), Khanh said. 

He called for cooperation in monitoring the quantity of waste discharged into the sea, and adopting measures to sort, collect, and process plastic waste while helping fishermen switch to eco-friendly tools. 

As Vietnam is one of the countries seriously affected by climate change, primarily landslides in the northern mountainous region, geological fluctuations in the central highlands, and river and coastal erosions in the Mekong Delta, Khanh suggested Japan continue helping Vietnam build a carbon credit market and improve disaster forecasting and warning.

Akihiro affirmed that Japan always accompanies Vietnam in environment protection and climate change response for sustainable development. 

He proposed collaborating with Vietnam to survey and monitor ocean plastic waste, with the goal of creating a handbook to enhance the monitoring and surveying capacity. He also suggested inviting Vietnamese experts to Japan for training on this technology.

The two ministers also signed a Letter of Intent on cooperation in marine waste management. Under this agreement, both sides will launch pilot projects and studies on marine waste in Vietnam, hold training sessions to enhance the capacity of Vietnamese members in managing marine waste, including monitoring and treatment.

They also agreed to boost mutual liaison at multilateral forums on plastic waste issues, share data on marine waste monitoring, including publicly disclosed plastic waste collection data, and work together in other areas of mutual interest.

Plastic waste is a significant risk to the environment. “Every day, the equivalent of over 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic is dumped into our oceans, rivers, and lakes,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres  

“Plastic is made from fossil fuels, the more plastic we produce, the more fossil fuel we burn, and the worse we make the climate crisis”, he pointed out on the World Environmental Day this year.

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