At the working session in Can Tho, the Finnish officials cited a survey by non-governmental organisations revealing that Vietnam ranks fourth in the amount of waste discharged to rivers, after China, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
The rivers carry rubbish into the ocean, causing serious and lingering environmental pollution, they said, stressing the dangers of maritime plastic waste which takes hundreds of years to decompose.
They also pointed out traditional waste treatment methods like burning or burying as factors behind soil and air pollution, as well as material wastefulness, and proposed complete waste treatment in order to turn garbage into valued products.
Floating trash in rivers can be scooped up by nets installed at estuaries to stop it from entering the ocean, and then be collected and classified for subsequent treatments, they said.
Dao Anh Dung, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said waste collection, classification, and treatment is a pressing issue facing the city, noting that the Finnish-proposed model matches the locality’s desires.
Representatives from the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment will coordinate with experts from Can Tho University to work with the Finnish side in this regard, he said.
Can Tho wishes to partner with Finland in farm produce and seafood processing, high-tech agriculture, IT, and infrastructure development, Dung said, underlining his wish that these matters be further discussed by the two sides on the occasion of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) conference on climate change response toward sustainability in the city in June.
According to the city’s Department of External Affairs, Can Tho exported 93,900 USD worth of goods to Finland in 2018, mainly garment-textiles.