The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the project executing agency and counterpart to JICA, will be responsible for the implementation of the project in cooperation with JICA, coordinate with other relevant organizations and ensure that the self-reliant operation of the project is sustained during and after the implementation period in order to contribute toward social and economic development of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam.
The project will be implemented within the framework of the Agreement on Technical Cooperation signed on 20/10/1998 (hereinafter referred to as “the Agreement”) and the Note Verbales exchanged on 10/5/2010, 19/5/2010, 15/1/2015 and 27/1/2015 between the two Governments of Japan and Việt Nam.
The 3-year project shall be implemented in 2 river basins including Đồng Nai river basin (Đồng Nai, Bình Dương and Hồ Chí Minh city), and Cầu river basin (Bắc Ninh, Bắc Giang and Thái Nguyên) with the overall goal as “Enforcement capacity of MONRE/Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) and Departments of Natural Resources and Environment (DONREs) is strengthened and MONRE/VEA is ready to implement river basin water environment management (RBWEM) system other than the target river basin area.” To realize this overall goal, the project shall focus on 3 main Outputs, including:
Output-1: Capacity of MONRE/VEA and target DONREs in legal document development and enforcement on RBWEM is strengthened, and the base of institutionalization of RBWEM mechanism is constructed.
Output-2: Enforcement capacity on RBWEM of MONRE/VEA and target DONREs is strengthened through implementation of pilot projects
Output-3: A road map for improvement of RBWEM is prepared based on the outcomes of Output-1 and Output-2, and MONRE/VEA is ready to implement further steps toward integrated river basin water resources management.
One of important activities is the development of legal documents at central level through the direct Environmental Science Institute and Department of Waste Management and Environmental Improvement under VEA. 6 Circulars and Regulation shall be developed by the project including Circular (regulation) on coordination mechanism for RBWEM; Circular on assessment of loading capacity and estimation of discharge permit; Circular on main wastewater discharge sources for RBWEM; Circular on information sharing and disclosure system for inter-provincial RBWEM; Circular on guiding format and procedure of requesting environmental compensation for natural environment; and Circular on stipulating selecting criteria and responsibilities of agency providing environmental monitoring and assessment service to collect evidences compensation and environmental damage, and guiding the setting up and operation of councils for appraising data and proof for determining environmental damages.
In order to facilitate this process, the project shall carry out 2 feature contents including “implementation of the pilot projects” and the development of “coordination mechanism”. For developing adequate and feasible legal documents, pilot project implementation is designed in target river basin areas and target provinces. Lessons learnt, difficulties, and important findings, which will be founded through the pilot project implementation, should be reflected not only in development of legal documents but also in shaping a “coordination mechanism” that works more effectively in the basin. Concretely, at central level, new Law on Environmental Protection 2014 and Law on Water Resource require further enforcement on river basin water governance; while the 2 existing Committees as well as sub-departments on river basin environment protection have strong demand for strengthening their capacity. At the provincial level, river water pollution remains as the biggest challenge while the need on river water use has been significantly increasing. Moreover, pollution in inter-provincial rivers is far beyond the capacity of one province while the collaboration/coordination mechanism is not always in place and workable. It is also possible to see that the differences in development priorities leading different RBWEM, while the current capacity is yet to meet RBWEM in an integrated manner.
However, with active participation and coordination of MONRE, target provinces, and experiences, expertise of JICA experts, the project is expected to gain a lot of noticeable success, aiming at integrated river basin water resource management.
Currently, the project is in the process of making necessary preparations including taking approval of project document for official start of the project as scheduled■