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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF VESDEC ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2018

VESDEC with offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang, Vietnam, has properly implemented various international and national projects/assignments in research and consultancy in environmental supervision, impact assessment, environmental planning, pollution control and environmental training.
The main results in implementation of projects and assignments from January to December 2018 are brieftly described below:

1. Implementation and Completion of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Nuoc Che Hydropower Project
Nuocche hydropower project with a capacity of 30 MW is planned to be built on the Nuocche river – a branch of the Dakmi river. The project is located in Phuocson District of Quangnam Province in the Southern Central Region of Vietnam.
Under the contract with Green Mekong Co., from September 2017 VESDEC has mobilized a group of environmental, ecological, hydrological and geological experts to conduct field surveys at the project and surrounding areas. The main topics to be studied at the fields are the present state of topography, geology, environmental quality, forest ecology, aquatic ecology, biodiversity,  native ethnic people, socio-economy of the study areas. From October to December 2017 studies on the project impacts on ecology, environmental quality, hydrology, environmental flow, climate change and impacts on the ethnic minority (Gie – Chieng ethnic), and mitigation measures have been implemented. EIA Report (450 pages) following the MONRE Guideline has been completef in December 2017. In March 2018, the EIA report was revivewed by MONRE’ EIA Appraisal Council.
 
        Location of Nuocche Hydroelectric Project in the     Present poor tropical forests at the project area (right).
                                                                                                           Vugia – Thubon River Basin (left)                                                                   
            
Present distribution of the main natural              Children of Gie Chieng Ethnic in a Project commune
          habitats at the proposed reservoir
                                                                     
2. Case Study of Environmental Planning (EP) for Hatinh Province and Setting up Technical Guideline for Environmental Zoning at Provincial Level
In the recent 25 years in Vietnam about 20 provinces have set up EP for their provinces. However, due to no official guideleine for EP, in which environmental zoning (EZ) is scientific basic, the provincial environmental zoning were not studied and prepared using the same methodology and various provincial planning reports did not comply with the requirements in the Law on Environmental Protection (2014).
Therefore, with a support of the UNDP/GEF Project of “Enhancing Capacity for Implementing Rio Conventions in Vietnam” a task for setting up a EP Guideline was given to Institute for Strategy and Policy ((ISPONRE) of MONRE.
Considering that EZ is main and basic condition for EP but various matters in EZ are not clear, ISPONRE has selected a Consulting Team led by Dang Trung Thuan, Prof. Dr. (VESDEC)  with participation of Le Trinh, Assoc. Prof, Dr (VESSDEC) and Mr. Ngo Dang Tri, MSc, GIS specialist to implement tasks to setting up EZ for provincial level with the required criteria: compliance with the laws, reliable scientific basis and feasibility. Hatinh Province was selected to study on provincial EZ.
From January to May 2018 the EZ Study Team has conducted data collection, field surveys, consultation meetings and implemented EZ for Hatinh Province. Based on the typical conditions of topography, landscape, soils, hydrology, ecological habitats, quality of water, air, soils and socio – economy Hatinh province was divided into 4 environmental zones, included 18 sub-environmental zones. In each environmental zone and sub-zone location, area, natural environmental conditions, socio –economic conditions, capacity in rational use of natural environment  and suggestions for environmental protection and climate change resilience were clearly identified. A report on EZ for hatinh Province (250 pp.) and a Technical Guidline for Provincial EZ (50 pp.) were prepared and revised basing on comments from consultation meetings in Hanoi and Hatinh.
   
 
Ecological habitat map of Hatinh Province                         Environmental zoning map of Hatinh Province, 
(prepared by D.T. Thuan, L. Trinh. N.D. Tri, April 2018)
 
 
Maps of sub-environmental zones I.A, I.B and I.C            Maps of sub-environmental zones II.F, III.A and III.B
(prepared by D.T. Thuan, L. Trinh. N.D. Tri, April 2018)

 
A boundary of Environmental Zone I (Sandy Bank)                   Hatinh City (Sub-Environmental Zone IID 
and Environmental Zone II (Coastal Plain)                                in Environmental Zone II)     

 
            Hills and watershed at Nganpho valley                       Destroyed natural forest at the boundary    
                     (Environmetal Zone III)                                  of Kyanh District and Quangbinh Province 
                                                                                       in Environmental Zone IV.
 
3. Implementation of External Environmental Monitoring for the ADB and JICA Funded “Benluc - Longthanh Expressway Project - Construction Stage”
The  “Benluc - Longthanh Expressway Project” funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with a cost of almost of USD 1.7 billion is the most expensive road transport project in Vietnam.  This includes construction of 58.5 km of 4 lane road and construction of 2 very large bridges and a number of small bridges.
VESDEC was selected by ADB and Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) to be an Independent Environmental Monitoring Consultant (IEMC) in a duration of 5 years (2015 - 2019). Each year VESDEC mobilizes 1 international environmentalist, 3 national environmentalists and some supporting staffs for this assignment.
From May to July 2018 VESDEC monitoring specialists have conducted the fourth mobilization of independent environmental monitoriong, included reviewing and giving commnents on over 100 environmental reports, prepared by the Southern Expressway Management Unit (SEPMU), the Contractors and Construction Supervision Consultants (CSCs), carrying out field surveys at 10 construction packages funded by ADB and JICA and organizing various public consultation meetings  to assess the compliance of them with the ADB requirements in the environmental management plan (EMP) and Vietnamese Environmental Guidelines.
From the data and information obtained IEMC Team has prepared  report for the independent environmental monitoriong in 2018 with clear and  objective evaluation of the compliance of the relevant units. The reports (English and Vietnamese, over 550 pages/each) has been reviwed and cleared by ADB in August 2018.
 
The Alignment of Benluc- Longthanh Expressway
 
 
 
Good environmental management at a concrete                          Poor environmental management at           
batching plant of Construction Package A1:                       a batching plant of Construction Package A2-2
installation of dust prevention walls at the top and                      : waste is dischagred to the  environment 
surrounded sides (June 2018) (left)                                              (June 2018) (right).              

 
 
                      A worker does not use PPE                     Supervision of IEMC Team at Construction Package A7

 (at Construction Package J1) (June 2018).              to assess impact of construction on the surrounding
                                                                                   mangrove forest  
 
 
  Interviewing a household affected by the Project                       A public consultation meeting at         
at Construction Package J3. (May 2018).                               Phuockhanh Commune (June 2018).
 
4.Implementation of “Review of Environmental Impact Assessment for Longthanh International Airport Project in FS Stage”
Longthanh International Airport with an area of 5,000 ha and invest cost of USD over 6,0 billion for the first phase is the largest infrastructural development project in Vietnam. Therefore, the Project should be reviewed aand decided by National Assembly.
The JV of Japan – France – Vietnam led by Japan Airport Consultants (JAC) is preparing feasibility study (FS) for this Project. VESDEC is a member of the JV, responsible for reviewing the EIA report prepared in 2013 for the Pre - FS Stage with the following activities: (i) collection of new legal guidelines, data on the natural and social environment; (ii) field surveys to identify the present infrastructural facilites, cultural, religious properties at the project area; (iii) evaluation of change in the natural and social conditions at the project communes; and (iv) update EIA report basing on the update data.
All above activities have been conducted from August to December 2018. 7 thematic reports have been prepared in Vietnamese and English. All tasks will be completed in December 2018 by the VESDEC Environmental Team.
Implementation of EIA for this very large project is a honor for VESDEC. 
 
 
Planned location of Longthanh Inter. Airport                  Present habitat map at 5,000 ha of the project 
           in Dongnai Province.                                           area, prepared by VESDEC, Oct.2018 
 

   
          Field surveys at the project area                         Rubber plantation and river at the project area
 
    
     Map of cultural, religious, historic sites at             Bird (Ardeola bacchus ) and reptile Geko geko were
                  
Suoitrau Commune, Oct.2018                   obsreved at the project area in August – December 2018    
 
Thus, in the recent 20 years VESDEC Director and specialists have properly implemented EIAs and environmental monitoring for almost all airport projects in Vietnam: Longthanh International Airport (Pre - FS for JAC/JICA/ACV); Tansonnhat International Airport (JICA Project), T2 International Terminal at Noibai International Airport (JICA Project), Danang New International Terminal and  airport projects of Vinh, Phuyen, Buon Mathuot, Dalat, Pley Ku, Cantho, Condao, Camau, Phuquoc,…; 7 expressways (Bienhoa – Vungtau, Dongha - Quangngai, TrungluongMythuan, Cantho – Camau, HCMC West – East Highway,  Benluc - Longthanh, Hanoi – Langson, Ho Chi Minh City Ring Road 3) and 4 deep sea ports,…Therefore, VESDEC is a leading consulting firm in EIA and monitoring for transport infrastructural development.
 
5. Implementation of the National Project of Improvement of Environmental Assessment of Vietnam
In order to improve quality of environmental assessment of Vietnam MONRE is implementing a National Project led by Dr. Mai The Toan. The VESDEC director was given the tasks to conduct 11 thematic studies for this Project, which are international experiences in environmental assessment and in EIA review; preparation of new technical guidelines for EIA included EIA procedure; determination of key environmental and social issues to be addressed; methodology in impact assessment, mitigation measures; environmental monitoring; project classification and structure of EIA report etc.
All tasks were completed in October 2018. Some results of the study was used for preparation of  a paper on “International experiences in environmental assessment; gap analysis and lessons to be reffered for Vietnam” presented in the MONRE - JICA workshop in December 2018 in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
 
   
 
6. Implementation of Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) for the ADB Sub-Project of Establishment of Second Campus of Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy
In the framework of the ADB Project VIE: Second Health Human Resource Development Project (SHHRDP) ADB supports Ministry of Health of Vietnam to establish second campus for Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Nhontrach District (Dongnai Projvince).
A VESDEC environmentalist was hired to implement IEE for this Project and VESDEC environmental team was mobilized to conduct field surveys to identify present ecological and social conditions; sampling and lab. analysis of air, water, soil quality at the project communes. All the activities were implemented in August and September 2018.
IEE report has been prepared (over 150 pages). It has been reviewed and cleared by ADB in September 2018.

 
 
         Location of Second Campus of HCMC                 Layout of construction works of Second Campus 
University of Medicine in Nhontrach District                            of HCMC University of Medicine      

   
 
Habitat map of the project area, August 2018           Present main habitats: rice field and pond    

    

Air sampling and noise,vibration measurement                  Some bird speciles found at the project area: 
                                                                                  Agretta garzetta (left) và Halcyon chloris
 
7.  Implementation of project of “Setting up a report on the present solid wastes in Thainguyen Province”
In the recent years, Thainguyen is one of the provinces of fastest economic growth rate in Vietnam. Therefore, solid wastes are rapidly increased in amount and composition. To well manage this problem Thainguyen DONRE was given to implement the above mentioned project, included evaluation of the sources of wastes; present waste generation; impacts of wastes on the natural enviornment and socio-economy and recommendation of waste management and treatment.
With good experiences in environmental studies in this province VESDEC was selected to cooperate with VESDI to be a consulting agency to implement this project for DONRE. In December 2018 the first survey on all main solid waste treatment centers at all cities and districts was implemented.
 
  
Visit Damai solid waste treatment plant-Thainguyen City      Survey on waste treatment center of Daitu District 

  
Survey on waste treatment center of Phubinh District        Inside of waste treatment center of Phubinh District
 
If environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment, environmental supervision, environmental audit, environmental training for international and national projects are your concerns, please contact:
Institute for Environmental Science and Development (VESDEC):
179, Bach Dang, Ward 2, Tanbinh District,  Ho Chi Minh City
and B19, lot 9, Dinhcong New Urban Quarter, Hoangmai District, Hanoi.
Tel: 098-2619336 ; E.mail: trinhlt@vesdec.com.vn ; website: vesdec.com.vn

Source: VESDEC Office, December, 2018.

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