Recommendations for Air Quality Management in Vietnam


Since 2019 UfU and Ecologic Institute, commissioned by the GIZ, have been accompanying the legislative process for the amendment of the Vietnamese Environmental Law (LEP), especially the chapters on environmental permits and air pollution control. As part of the project “Development of recommendations (based on best practices, among others) on how to implement and operationalize the revised Law of Environmental Protection of Vietnam” UfU and Ecologic commented on the draft for the LEP amendment and provided recommendations for further improvements, for air quality management, and support in the preparation of the subsequent LEP implementation.

While the LEP amendment entails significant progress at the national level, the provinces often struggle with the implementation of national requirements. In the field of air pollution control, the new LEP requires all provinces to develop air quality management plans from 2022 on. In order to support this process, the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment prepared a Technical Guideline on Air Quality Management Planning for provinces. However, this guideline does not provide recommendations and guidance on the specific measures that the provinces could include into their management plans.

Therefore, UfU and Ecologic developed a package of three publications on concrete tools and recommendations for air quality management measures for the provincial authorities in Vietnam:

The first document, the AQMA-Table, lists potential measures that the provincial authorities can implement and include into their management plans in the areas of Agriculture, Construction, Industries, Energy and Electricity, Transport, Domestic Activities, Solid Waste Management, as well as Health Emergencies. The second document, the accompanying manual to the AQMA-Table, elaborates in a first step on the table and the different information it provides. In a second step, it outlines the process of how to choose appropriate measures for a province’s air quality management plan. Finally, the third document serves as a toolbox for immediate action within the provinces. Since the new LEP and thus also the provincial air quality management plans will not enter into force before 2022, but with air pollution already being an urgent issue at the moment, immediate action against air pollution is of utmost importance. Therefore, the document provides recommendations on measures that can be implemented right away, i.e. that can be taken within the current national legal framework, without the establishment of new regulations, and without further research and evaluation. In this way, the three documents can support the provincial authorities in the development of the program of measures of their air quality management plans and encourage them to become active against air pollution already before and during the development phase of the plans.

Success stories from the small-scale climate change projects in Central Vietnam

15. October 2020

In our project on local pilot measures to raise awareness on climate change in Central Vietnam, supported by the climate fund of the German Foreign Office, UfU encourages four young Vietnamese local project teams to develop and implement their own project ideas. The four small-scale projects are advancing considerably despite the current challenges due to the pandemic. The project teams have written news to inform about the status and recent successes in their projects. Below you can read the news from the mangrove and biochar project teams.

2020 Summer Volunteer Campaign and Tree Planting Ceremony for the community in Tan Ninh commune (written by Hoang Anh Vu)

On 02.08.2020, HoChiMinh Communist Youth Union of Quang Binh University and Quang Ninh district Youth Union organized a tree planting ceremony for the local community. The event is part of a small-scale project about climate change sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office via the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU, Berlin) and the Mientrung Institute for Scientific Research (MISR, Hue city).

Speaking at the tree planting ceremony, Mr. Hoang Anh Vu (project leader) explained that restoring the area along Kien Giang river in Tan Ninh commune with mangrove trees will create new landscape value and therefore serve local ecotourism. Realizing the value of the mangrove forest, residents will plant more trees to further increase their coverage and durability.

The event attracted the participation of about 250 volunteers, amongst them local residents, members of the HoChiMinh Communist Youth Union of Quang Binh University, and members of the Quang Ninh district Youth Union. During the event, volunteers planted 1000 mangroves along Kien Giang river in Tan Ninh commune, Quang Ninh district.

The organizers would like to thank all the volunteers who participated. Our special thanks goes to the German Federal Foreign Office, the Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU, Berlin) and the Mientrung Institute for Scientific Research (MISR, Hue city) for sponsoring this event. We hope to plant more trees in the future to further enhance the community’s resilience to climate change.

Kiln Construction and Biochar Production in Krong Klang village in Quang Tri province (written by Nguyen Van Ky Truong)

On July 22nd 2020, the project “Turning agricultural by-products into biochar to reduce pollution and increase crop yields” had officially been started by building the kiln for the production of biochar. The kiln was constructed of a 200-liter oil container with a small cap in front and a metal chimney at the back. A metal grid placed inside the container allows for ventilation. The kiln was placed on a concrete base and covered by bricks and mortar in order to protect it from severe weather impacts and heat losses.

Five types of local agricultural waste by-products were used for producing biochar, including cajuput, lemongrass, holy basil, ginger and turmeric, all in form of soft wood. It is estimated that in the project area 25 tons of these wastes are disposed to the environment monthly polluting local air and water resources.

From July 22nd to August 6th, we produced the biochar, however, the quantity produced was not as expected due to bad weather and difficulties in the combustion process in the kiln. Luckily, such initial challenge was soon over after the team has gained some experience in working with a new technology.

The team then decided to take advantage of the social distancing period to start cultivation testing with the produced biochar as manure. We started with 4 different samples of peanut plants (a soil-only sample, a 2% biochar-soil mix, a 2% biochar-7% compost-soil mix, and a soil-7% compost mix). The project team plans to continue with in total 24 samples using all 4 ratios of biochar mix in a bigger scale applied to 3 types of plants (holy basil, ginger and peanut). The growth assessment will be carried out twice a month based on plant growth criteria, including stem thickness, plant height and number of leaves.