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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF VESDEC ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE FIRST HALF (FROM JANUARY TO JUNE) 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 June 2018 are brieftly described below.


1. Implementation and Completion of EIA for Nuoc Che Hydropower Project
Nuocche hydropower project with a capacity of 30 MW is planned to be build on the Nuocche river – a branch of the Dakmi river, at the upstream of the Dakmi 4 hydropower plant. 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 native 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 habitats                 Children of Gie Chieng Ethnic in a Project commune.

at the proposed reservoir                                                                                      
 
2. Case study of environmental planing for Hatinh Province and setting up technical guideline for environmental zoning at provincial level
In the recent 25 years in Vietnam there were over 20 national and provincial projects related to set up environmental planning (EP) for provincial and regional levels. 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 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) is planned to submit to ADB and VEC before July, 20th 2018.


The Alignment of Benluc- Longthanh Expressway

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, HCM RR3) and 4 deep sea ports,…Therefore, VESDEC is a leading consulting firm in EIA and monitoring for transport infrastructural development.

 
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. Preparation to implement a study “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 is the largest project in Vietnam. Therefore, the Project should be reviewed aand decided by National Assembly.
The JV of Japan – France – Vietnam let by Japan Airport Consultants (JAC) has won in the bidding for 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. These activities are planned to be conducted from the last week July 2018. The FS shall be completed in July 2019. Implementation of EIA for this very large project is a honor for VESDEC. 


 
Planned location of Longthanh Inter. Airport                   
Primary planned location of the main facilities
                      in Dongnai Province.                                   in the first phase at Longthanh Inter. Airport 
 

 

Main basins at the project area may affect the airport      
The planned highway network in area of HCM City
                                                                                             and Dongnai province, connecting to the airport.
 
5. Other activities
In the first 6 months of 2018 many VESDEC members and specialists have participated in various MONRE Appraisal Councils, training programs and study projects for other reaserch institutes and unviversites.


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

Source: VESDEC Office, July, 2018.

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Name: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Trinh
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