In Vietnam, the open burning of agricultural residues, burning at outdoor garbage dumps, burning domestic waste in craft villages and rural areas, and forest fires are the causes of serious environmental problems, including the formation of Dioxins /Furans, new POPs and other pollutants. According to UNEP data on updated national inventory results, Dioxins/Furans emission are averaging 22.6 g TEQ per year for 6 years (2007-2012) from open burning. Total Dioxins emission from industry in Vietnam are estimated at 564.4 g TEQ per year.
Facing to these issues, on two days – 16 and 17 September 2016, in Tam Ky city, Quang Nam province, the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) organized a training course on “Impacts of open burning on human health and environment”. The training course was participated by representatives of state management agencies in charge of environmental protection and human health. The training was an activity of the project “Demonstration of Best Available Technical Methodology (BAT) and Best Environmental Experience (BEP) in open burning to implement the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)”; and was one of the events in respond to the World Cleaner Campaign in 2016 held by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Quang Nam.
Opening the training course, Mr. Hoang Van Thuc, Deputy Director General of Vietnam Environment Administration informed that the training was one of four activities in response to the Clean Up the World in 2016 that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment coordinated with Quang Nam province to organize. “This activity is not only to enhance the awareness of environmental protection in general but also to provide information on the harmful effects of open burning activities, and the risk of health and environmental damages due to the POPs and other compounds caused by these activities. This is also an opportunity for ministries, branches and localities to exchange and share information on environmental protection management.”, Mr. Hoang Van Thuc said.
At the training course, the trainers provided necessary skills and information to the trainees through six topics: (1) The Stockholm Convention and impacts of POPs/U-POPs on health and environment; (2) The basics of environmental health and risks associated with open burning practices to health and environment; (3) Reviewing of environmental regulations related to the generation of U-POPs, hazardous waste management and waste and scrap management; and proposals for open burning reduction in the future; (4) The role of the authorities in open burning management and implementation of reduction of open burning activities; (5) Guidance on waste classification and solutions to minimize the amount of waste to be burned; (6) Communications for public awareness raising on environmental and human health impacts due to open burning and U-POPs.
Through these six seminars, participants were provided with the most basic issues of the Stockholm Convention, POPs and the impact of POPs on the environment and health; the risks arising from the open buring activities to human health and the environment as well as knowledge the classification, collection and treatment of solid waste, solutions to minimize waste burning; contents, forms and modes of communication and awareness raising of the community on environmental health due to the impacts of open burning; At the same time, the participants also recognized the important role of the various levels of government in mobilizing all levels of society to have practical jobs and behaviors to minimize open burning activities, the effects of open burning on the environment and human health.