Environmental Remediation of Dioxin Contaminated Hotspots in Vietnam


TCDD (tetra chloro dibenzo-dioxin, aka dioxin) contamination in Viet Nam originates from the armed conflict during the period 1961-1971, when herbicides were used to defoliate forests and mangroves, clear perimeters of military installations and destroy crops. The TCDD contamination has created very serious environmental effects and health risks. Studies in Viet Nam and from other highly contaminated sites throughout the world have shown that Viet Nam has among the worst TCDD contaminated sites in the world.

The soil dioxin concentration in sprayed areas has so far declined to a background level. However, sites at airports – where large quantities of herbicides were stored or handled – are still highly contaminated. There are a number of barriers that have limited Viet Nam in its ability to deal with these highly dioxin-contaminated hotspot sites. The dioxins accumulated at the hotspots continue to be bio-available and disperse in the local and global environment, through soil particles and organic materials that bind dioxin and are carried by water currents, wild life and air, and are posing a serious health risk to people, especially through food chains.

This project will help the Vietnamese Government to remove the barriers in order to effectively contain and/or remediate the highly dioxin-contaminated material in the three main hotspot areas (Da Nang, Bien Hoa and Phu Cat) and help to address the technical, institutional, financial as well as societal root causes for enabling Viet Nam to address additional sites of concern.

The project will also make a significant contribution to the implementation of the National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which was ratified by the Government in 2002.

What are the project's key results?

  • Dioxin in core hotspot areas contained and remediated
  • Land use on and around hotspots eliminates risks and contributes to environmental recovery
  • Strengthened national regulations and institutional capacities

Finance, Executing and Implementing Agency

Project Number Funding Executing Agency Implementing Agency
 00071224 or 57593 Global Environment Facility (GEF): US$ 4,977,000 and National co-financing: US$ 32,340,000 Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Office of the National Steering Committee for Overcoming the Consequences of the War (Office 33), MONRE. Co-implementing agencies include the Ministry of Defence and the Peoples’ Committee of Da Nang, Dong Nai and Binh Dinh Province

Delivery in Previous Fiscal Year

Year    Delivery (USD)
2010 119,040
2011 885,537
2012 1,760,983
2013 1,704,684
2014 474,856
2015 112,415

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Viet Nam 
Go to UNDP Global