Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Konaka Tetsuo. Photo: Linh Pham
Any investment project must meet environmental protection requirements which are defined globally. In addition, there remains a question which must be answered before and during the project is that if it causes any social impact or resident relocation, Mr. Konaka Tetsuo said at a recent press conference.
In reality, a number of projects from emerging countries fail to meet requirements on environmental protection as investors try to cut cost and shorten time for the investment, he said.
The government should contemplate the investment by carefully checking it though the project appraisal takes time, the Japanese official suggested.
In fact, foreign direct investment (FDI) over the years has enabled Vietnam to upgrade infrastructure and develop its economy, but a number of projects have polluted the environment, affecting local residents and lowering Vietnam’s competitiveness.
Understanding what Vietnam is facing with, the JICA has focused on projects that help improve urban traffic in order to lower pollutant emissions, Mr. Konaka Tetsuo affirmed.
Accordingly, the JICA has funded a number of urban traffic projects including urban railways in Hanoi and metro line in Ho Chi Minh City which help ease pressure on traffic, both solving traffic congestions and lowering emissions.
Sharing more about Japan’s experience in coping with pollution, Mr. Konaka Tetsuo said air and water pollution is consequence of economic development. Several decades ago, Japan had to face serious pollution which hindered children from playing outside their house and the JICA is sharing lessons learnt from such period of time, he noted.
As a result, dozens of projects on environmental improvement receiving official development assistance (ODA), project-type technical cooperation, and non-refundable aid from the JICA have been running, such as managing preventive forest, managing solid waste in urban areas, improving water, water treatment and water drainage in big cities like Hanoi and Danang, Ha Long, Dong Nai, Haiphong, Hoi An, and Hue.