Capacity Building and Completion of the Overall National Plan for Environmental Remediation of Dioxin-Contaminated Hotspots in Viet Nam

Introduction

During the armed conflict in Viet Nam over the period 1961-1971 herbicides were used to defoliate terrestrial forests and mangroves, to clear perimeters of military installations, and to destroy crops, This resulted in contamination by the dioxin TCDD (tetra chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin. Although the dioxin concentration of soil in sprayed areas is retreating to background levels, sites at former military airports where large quantities of herbicides were stored or handled are still highly contaminated with dioxin and they are referred to as “hot spots.” By international standards the levels of contamination clearly need to be remediated.The project targets the three worst contaminated hotspots: the airports of Bien Hoa, Da Nang and Phu Cat. They are sources of contamination for the surrounding environment, and pose a serious health risk to people.

Viet Nam ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in July 2002 and developed a National Implementation Plan (NIP) on POPs, which was officially approved by the Prime Minister on 10 August 2006. The remediation of dioxin-contaminated sites is the third of the 15 priority programmes and projects in the NIP, with actions planned for the period 2006-2010. Overall responsibility for the NIP is with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE). The lead implementing agency for dioxin contamination on military sites is the Ministry of Defense.

The project’s objective is to strengthen basic capacities and finalise an overall national plan for environmental remediation of dioxin-contaminated hotspots. Project results will lay a solid foundation for efforts to overcome the consequences of toxic chemicals used in Viet Nam during the war. The project will (i) strengthen capacities for planning, contamination assessment, remediation of dioxin-contaminated hotspots, and management of exposure prevention, research, and monitoring of decontamination. It will also (ii) help develop a national dioxin hotspot remediation plan and formulate specific action plans that will enable access to external, international grants for partial funding of remediation work and ensure safe land use in and around these hotspots (Da Nang, Bien Hoa and Phu Cat).

What are the project's key results?

Result 1: Strengthened capacities for:

  • planning and contamination assessment;
  • operational aspects of remediation of dioxin-contaminated hotspots; and
  • management of exposure prevention, research, and monitoring of decontamination.

Result 2: An overall national plan and specific remediation action plans that enable access to external, international grants for partial funding to

  • remediate the three most contaminated dioxin-hotspots, and
  • ensure safe land use in and around the hotspots in support of local livelihoods and economic development.

Finance, Executing and Implementing Agency



Project Number Funding Executing Agency Implementing Agency
00057781 US$360,000 from Global Environment Facility (GEF) Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Office of the National Steering Committee for Overcoming the Consequences of the War (Office 33), MONRE

Delivery in Previous Fiscal Year

Year    Delivery (USD)
2007 39,463

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