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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF VESDEC ACTIVITIES AND RESULTS IN 2019

In 2019 Institute for Environmental Science and Development (VESDEC) has properly implemented various international and national projects/assignments in research and consultancy in environmental supervision, strategic environmental assessment (SEA), and environmental training.
The main results in implementation of projects and assignments from January to December 2019 are brieftly described below.




1. Completion of the Task “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 over USD 6,0 billion is the most expensive project in Vietnam. Therefore, the Project should be reviewed and decided by the Vietnam National Assembly. The JV of Japan - France - Vietnam let by Japan Airport Consultants (JAC) has won in the bidding for 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 completed:
(i) Collected and studied the new Vietnam legal regulations in environmental protection, particularly in environmental impact assessment, monitoring and management. 
(ii) Collected and updated data on the natural environment (climate, hydrology, landscape, environmental quality) and socio-economic conditions (population, economy, culture, health care, infrastructural facilities: roads, latest traffic forecast; water supply, electricity supply, communication systems; waste management; socio-economic development plans of Dongnai province; Longthanh district and project communes.
(iii) Carried out field surveys to identify the current situations and change of:
-   Population and living conditions at the project communes;
-  Land use at the project communes;
- Infrastructural facilities: roads, water supply, electricity supply, communication systems; waste management at the project communes;
-   Sensitive facilities to environmental impacts: religious sites, cultural and health care facilities;
-   Current natural habitats, flora and fauna.
(iv) Basing on the update data, information of the current environmental and social conditions collected from governmental agencies and from field surveys and applying the new Vietnam Guidelines VESDEC has revised the EIA Report, prepared for the Pre- FS and incorporated into the FS Report.
In March 2019, VESDEC completed Chapter 8 (EIA Review) in FS Report. The FS report studied by the Japan-France-Vietnam JV has been submitted to the Ministry of Transport, which will be submitted to the Government in July 2019.
Note: The JV of Japan - France - Vietnam is not responsible for preparation of a full EIA for the FS Phase. This task is implemented by a consulting unit of the Ministry of Transport, hired by ACV.

2. Implementation of Independent 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 (External) Environmental Monitoring Consultant (IEMC) in a duration of 5 years (2015 - 2019). Each year VESDEC mobilizes one international environmentalist, three national environmentalists and some supporting staffs for this assignment.
From April to June 2019 VESDEC specialists have conducted the fifth mobilization of independent environmental monitoring, included reviewing and giving commnents on over 100 environmental reports, prepared by the Southern Expressway Management Unit (SEPMU), Construction Supervision Consultants (CSCs) and the Contractors; carrying out field surveys at 9 construction packages financed 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), revised in 2017 and Vietnamese Environmental Guidelines.                     
From the data and information obtained the IEMC Team has prepared an annual independent environmental monitoring report for 2019 with clear and  objective evaluation of the compliance of the SEPMU, CSCs and Contractors. The reports (English and Vietnamese, over 500 pages/each) were submited to ADB and they were disclosed by ADB                    
Thus, in the recent 24 years VESDEC 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.

3. Preparation of Lectures and Implementation of the WB Training of Trainer (ToT) Program on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)

Objectives
(i) Train a cadre of 24 potential trainers in the principles and conduct of ESIA applying World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) policy and guidance.
(ii)  Based on performance in the course, select a target group of trainers from the ToT to conduct training in Vietnamese, initially in collaboration with expert ADB and WB staff or consultants, for Project management units, consultants and others to conduct and implement ESIA.
(iii) Continue to train the selected target group through mentoring, experience on-the-ground with donor projects and additional follow-on training with the result that they will be competent to train the target audiences, without supervision by donor staff.
Format
The ToT incorporates 7 days of learning with emphasis on participants playing an active role to demonstrate not only knowledge of ESIA but their ability to communicate effectively and teach adult learners.
Methodology
The training involves participatory learning and application-oriented approaches. A combination of training methods, which include lectures, group discussion and presentation, cases/case study analysis, and field visits, will be applied to this training program.
Certification
Certificate of course completion will be awarded by the MONRE’ Institute for Natural Resource and Environmental Training (InNET) to those participants who attend at least 90% of the course duration and actively engage in all training activities.
Date & time: May 6 – 11th, 2019; 8.30-17:15.
Venue:  InNET, Hanoi
Organizer: WB in cooperation with InNET
Key Lecturer/Facilitator: Le Trinh (VESDEC); Support Facilitator: Dinh Thuy Hang (Maritime University)
Participants:
Environmental lecturers of various universities in Hanoi, Thainguyen, Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh, Hue, Danang and Cantho; environmental experts in ministries, environmental and social consultants.
Program:
The ESIA ToT program includes 16 modules, many excercies and field visit (read VESDEC Activities in the First Half Year 2019 for detail).

4. Preparation of Lectures and Implementation of the WB Training of Trainer (ToT) Program on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for MONRE

Purposes:
(i)  Provision of international contexts of SEA and methodology in SEA analysis and lessons learned from international and Vietnam SEA practice
(ii)  Provision of Vietnam guidelines in SEA; experiences in SEA implementation in Vietnam and lessons learned.
(iii) After the program the participants (trainers and/or consultants) may improve their knowledge and experiences in SEA teaching and practice.
Format
The ToT incorporates 4 days of learning with emphasis on participants playing an active role to demonstrate not only knowledge of SEA but their ability to communicate effectively and teach adult learners.
Methodology
The training involves participatory learning and application-oriented approaches. A combination of training methods, which include lectures, group discussion and presentation, cases/case study analysis will be applied to this training program.
Certification
Certificate of course completion will be awarded by the MONRE’ Institute for Natural Resource and Environmental Training (InNET) to those participants who attend at least 90% of the course duration and actively engage in all training activities.
Date & time: June 3 - 6th , 2019; 8.30-17:15.
Venue:  InNET, Hanoi
Organizer: The World Bank (WB) cooperates with InNET
Key Lecturers/Facilitators: Jiri Dusik (Integracons), Le Trinh (VESDEC)
Participants:
Environmental lecturers of various universities in Hanoi, Thainguyen, Ho Chi Minh City and Cantho; environmental experts in ministries, environmental and social consultants.
Program:
The SEA ToT program includes 10 modules and many excercies (read VESDEC Activities in the First Half Year 2019 for detail).

5. Active Participation in Recommendation of the Law on Environmental Protection (Revised)

           Recognizing this is a very good opportunity for Vietnam to formulate and promulgate an advanced Law on Environmental Protection, focusing on Vietnam's main environmental issues and harmonizing with international best practice from May 2019 to November 2019, the VESDEC key experts meticulously worked on the Environment Law of nearly 20 countries, compiled 2 documents specifying the definitions, concepts and scope of "environment" and environmental protection, and at the same time revised and supplemented details of 2 draft Law on Environmental Protection, 2 chapters on environmental planning and SEA, EIA suggested by General Department of Environment.

6. Training for Universities and Provincial Environmental Experts

          In addition to the training programs for InNET of MONRE in 2019, the main experts of VESDEC have implemented:
- Compiling and presenting modules "Environmental audit", "Environmental management according to TCVN ISO14001: 2015" for the training course for environmental officials of Dong Nai Province, organized by InNET - Sonadezi (June 2019).
- Preparing and conducting a new lecture on "Environmental Risk Assessment" including 7 chapters for the Master Program of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (42 hours: November 9, 2019).
- Compiling and presenting the topics "Integrated impact assessment" and  "Environmental risk assessment" for the intensive training course on environmental management for companies  and the district divisions of Environmental Management. organized by Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Thai Nguyen (December 2019).

7. Starting to research a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the project "Mekong Delta Integrated Planning in the Period of 2021 - 2030, vision to 2050"

           This is the first regional plan made under the Planning Law. The project is invested by MPI, and is an important component of the World Bank Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Change and Sustainable Livelihood Project. The consultants for the implementation of the Planning are Joint Ventures of Royal HaskoningDHV (Netherlands) and GIZ (Germany). Implementation time is from Jun 2019 to December 2020 to be approved by the Government.
In this project, VESDEC senior environmentalist and one international expert selected by GIZ are responsible to conduct the SEA study and prepare the SEA report in cooperation with HaskoningDHV experts.
      The SEA study started in December 2019 will basically comply with the content and structure requirements of Vietnam, but since this Master Plan is funded by the World Bank, environmental and social issues must be considered. Therefore, although in the last 11 years VESDEC has successfully implemented SEA for 8 Socio-Economic Development Plans for 6 regions, zones and 2 provinces, the SEA for the "Mekong Delta Integrated Planning in the Period of 2021 - 2030, vision to 2050" under the Planning Law is a very is difficult because there are too many key environmental issues including ecological, climate change and social impacts that need to be assessed while it must be done at the same time with the preparation of the Integrated Development Plan.
 

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, Vietnam
and B19, lot 9, Dinhcong New Urban Quarter, Hoangmai District, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Tel: 098-2619336 ; E.mail: trinhlt@vesdec.com.vn

Source: VESDEC Office, December, 2019

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