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    In 2018, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) signed a Coordination Program on Natural Resources Management, Environmental Protection and Climate Change Response in Transport Activities in the Period of 2018 - 2021. The purpose of the Program is to strengthen coordination between the two Ministries to effectively manage and use natural resources, pro-actively prevent and minimize environmental pollution, pro-actively respond to climate change in transport activities. The Environment Magazine had an interview with Mr. Trần Ánh Dương - the Director of the Department of Environment, MOT on the results of the Coordination Program between the two Ministries in the past year.

Reporter:  Could you please tell us some results of the Coordination Program between the two Ministries in 2018 and proposals in the coming years?

Mr. Trần Ánh Dương: Based on the Coordination Program No. 01/CTPH-BTNMT-BGTVT dated March 8, 2018 between the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, the advisory bodies of the two Ministries agreed to the coordination plan in 2018 and organized and implemented with the following specific results:

    Regarding the development and completion of institutions, the two Ministries have closely coordinated in drafting and formulating the Decree to manage waterway activities; the Decree regulating the management of river-bed sand and gravel; The Prime Minister's Decision prescribing the roadmap to raise the emission standards for in-use cars and imported second-hand motor vehicles; the Circular amending and supplementing the National Technical Regulation on marine pollution prevention systems for vessels (amended and supplemented QCVN 26:2016/BGTVT); the Circular issuing the National Technical Regulation on wastewater treatment system on board for vessels.

 

The signing ceremony of the Coordination Program between the MOT and MONRE in 2018

 

    Regarding the formulation of strategies, planning and plans in the field of state management, the two sides have coordinated to adjust the Rural Transport Development Strategy; the Planning on standard gauge railway in Lào Cai - Hà Nội - Hải Phòng. For the implementation of policies and laws, programs and projects, the two Ministries have closely coordinated in appraising and approving environmental impact assessment reports and policy framework on land clearance and resettlement to ensure the progress of investment decisions of nationally- important projects (11 component projects of the North-South expressway in the East; the project on land acquisition, compensation, support and resettlement of Long Thành International Airport).

    On the basis of the work plan issued by the MOT, the contents of the proposed coordination of the MOT in 2019 are as follows: Amendment of Decree No. 114/2014/ND-CP dated November 26, 2014 of the Government stipulating subjects and conditions allowed for the import and dismantling of used ships; Evaluation and approval of strategic environmental assessment reports for 5 national sector plans submitted to the Prime Minister (the Road Network Planning in the period of 2021 - 2030, vision to 2050; the Railway Network Planning in the period of 2021 - 2030, vision to 2050, the Master Plan on Development of Vietnam's Seaport System in the period of 2021 - 2030, vision to 2050, the Planning of Inland Waterway Infrastructure in the period of 2021 -2030, vision to 2015, the Master Plan for Developing the Airport System Nationwide in the period of 2021 - 2030, vision to 2050); Evaluation and approval of environmental impact assessment reports, policy framework for land clearance and resettlement of important and urgent railway and road projects using the provisional fund of the mid-term public investment plan in the period of 2016 - 2020; the environmental impact assessment report of the Long Thành International Airport project.

Reporter: In the process of development of the transport sector, construction of transport infrastructure and means of transport have a significant impact on the environment, so how have the response to climate change, resource management and environmental protection during the development of legal documents, strategies, planning and plans of the transport sector been implemented over time?

Mr. Trần Ánh Dương: In the past time, the system of specialized transport laws (Vietnam Maritime Code, Law on Railway, Law on Road Transport, Law on Inland Waterway Navigation, Law on Civil Aviation) has been integrated with environmental protection regulations in accordance with State management requirements on environmental protection in transport and international treaties that Vietnam is a member.

    Accordingly, the MOT has studied and proposed the President and the Government to participate in many international treaties on environmental protection in transport such as: Annex 16 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention); Annexes I, II, III, IV, V and VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships; the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems in Ships; the 1992 Protocol of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage; the International Convention on Civil Liability for Damages Caused by Fuel Oil Pollution. The MOT has developed and advised the Prime Minister to issue and promulgate according to its authority the system of legal documents under the Law, national technical regulations and the implementation to meet management requirements on environmental protection and energy efficiency in transport.

    At the same time, the Ministry also directed related agencies and units to seriously implement strategic environmental assessment reports in the process of developing transport sector development strategies and plans.

Reporter: As a sector focusing on roads, railways, inland waterways, maritime and aviation, how is the energy efficiency in transport activities regulated? What mechanisms and policies are needed to limit vehicles with low throughput capacity and high fuel consumption? And to promote the development of energy efficient modes of transport?  

Mr. Trần Ánh Dương: Implementing the provisions of the Law on Energy Efficiency and Conservation in 2010, right after the Government issued Decree No. 21/2011/ND-CP dated March 29, 2011 detailing on the implementing measures of the Law, the MOT has developed and issued Circular No. 64/2011/TT-BGTVT dated December 26, 2011 to promptly guide agencies and enterprises on energy efficiency measures in planning, construction and renovation of traffic works in transport activities and in the management of fuel consumption of transport vehicles. 

    For motor vehicles, the MOT has developed and issued Joint Circular No. 43/2014/TTLT-BGTVT-BCT; Circular No. 40/2017/TT-BGTVT; Circular No. 59/2018/TT-BGTVT and deploying the energy labeling for cars of 9 seats or less, newly manufactured, assembled and imported motorcycles and mopeds to prove transparent information about vehicle fuel consumption.

    Through energy labels to the vehicles, the consumers have grounds to choose the vehicles with appropriate fuel consumption; Manufacturers and car dealers also get their fuel consumption as one of the competitive tools in the market. 

    For ships, the MOT has implemented regulations on fuel efficiency of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).  In 2018, the MOT issued Circular No. 40/2018/TT-BGTVT dated June 29, 2018 regulating on collecting and reporting fuel consumption of Vietnamese ships; Accordingly, from January 01, 2019, Vietnamese ships are required to report the annual oil consumption.

 

Consultation Workshop of the Transport sector for the contribution on GHG emission reduction commitment

 

    Thus, regulations on measures of energy efficiency in transport have been developed in time to meet the requirements of state management and international integration, while supporting enterprises in the implementation process.

    In order to limit vehicles with low throughput capacity, and high fuel consumption; and to promote the development of energy efficient transport modes, in the coming time, it is necessary to focus on implementing some following focuses: Continuing to apply energy labeling for cars of 9 seats or less, new motorcycles and mopeds; Research and development of national technical regulations on fuel consumption for newly manufactured, assembled and imported motor vehicles; Development of mechanisms and policies to support and promote the shifting to the use of transport vehicles and equipment with high energy efficiency, use of clean energy and renewable energy; Strictly complying with the regulations on expiry date for transport vehicles and equipment.

Reporter: Could you tell us some challenges in the current environmental protection work of the transport sector and solutions in the coming time?

Mr. Trần Ánh Dương: The challenges in the current environmental protection work of the transport sector are mainly: Increasing amount of exhausts from motor vehicles participating in traffic is a source of air pollution in big cities; Motorcycles and mopeds engaged in traffic are not controlled for emissions; The development of public transport, especially fast and large volume modes of transport and the shifting to the use of environmentally friendly buses and taxis is slow.

    Therefore, the solution in the coming time is to improve the capacity and quality of civil servants to advise and implement the function of state management on environmental protection, energy efficiency and climate change response at MOT, General Departments, Departments of Transport and subordinate units.

   To actively review, supplement, modify and improve regulations on environmental protection, energy efficiency in the system of legal documents specialized in transport, especially to regulate the inspection of motorcycles and mopeds involved in traffic in the amendment of the Law on Road Traffic.

    Provinces and cities need to focus resources to promote the development of public passenger transport; to use compressed natural gas, liquefied gas, electricity for buses and taxis in order to contribute to improving the air environment quality and achieve the objectives approved by the Prime Minister at the Decision No. 2139/QD-TTg dated December 5, 2011. Hà Nội and Hồ Chí Minh City should focus on developing a fast and large volume modes of public passenger transport.

    To continue to strengthen cooperation and connect with international and regional programs, to exchange information and establish a network of bilateral and multilateral partners on environmental work in transport; On that basis, to take advantage of the help of developed countries and international organizations to build capacity and apply solutions on environmental protection, energy efficiency and climate change response.

Reporter: Thank you very much!

Phạm Tuyên (Implemented)

(This article was puplished on the Environment Magazine, Enghish I/2019)

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