Ecological situation in Vietnam
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Due to market reforms, Vietnam has reached high economic growth rates over the past 20 years (annual average GDP growth is 6.5 %). At the same time with the active implementation of industrialization, the problem of protection of the environment has been exacerbated. In Vietnam, as in other countries that are on the path of overtaking development, economic acceleration is achieved largely through the depletion of natural resources and the undermining of the ecological balance.
Soil has degraded, biodiversity has threatened, forest cover has been reduced, and the quality of forests has been deteriorated.
In large and medium-sized cities, where the population due to the urbanization is growing, there is intensive air and water pollution by industrial and household waste. At the same time, waste recycling does not meet the growing needs; sanitary and environmental services remain weak. Together with the use of chemicals in food production it seriously increases the risks for human health.
Industrial production based on backward technology is a source of environmental pollution, leading to the waste of non-renewable natural resources. Marine and coastal resources are also being depleted.
Due to the unplanned deforestation as a source of energy, particularly in rural mountainous areas (63 % loss), appears the alarming problem of soil erosion, which also gives rise to drought, salinity and soil degradation in mountain areas due to rainfalls and mudflows. Because of the process of urbanization, the intensity of agricultural activity is increasing, which negatively affects the water area.
For example, as the result of a sharp rise in breeding of fish and shrimps for the period of 50 years, 80% of the forests which served as a natural protection of soils from erosion were destroyed (including mangroves in the south). Uncontrolled fishing in the narrow coastal strips has already led to the decrease in production in the fishing industry.
According to Vietnamese scientists, ecological misbalance is the main reason of the sharp increase of natural disasters, including drought, fires, floods, bringing enormous material losses in the recent years.
The government of Vietnam gradually realizes the importance of environmental problems and is developing policies and measures for improvement of the living conditions of the population and is taking actions for the environmental protection. Adoption of legal and regulatory acts is included in the national strategy for the protection of the environment and the strategy of socio-economic development.