On 6 November, on the occasion of the eighth session of the 14th National Assembly, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Tran Hong Ha, made a statement on issues related to the protection and use of agricultural land, and protection of the rural environment. Addressing the challenges in avoiding the conversion of agricultural land for other purposes, Minister Tran Hong Ha said that it is necessary to have more specific regulations for the protection of fertile land and to enhance policies on food security. Besides that, policies should be strengthened in regard to the transfer of land-use rights, ensuring the long-term livelihoods of the people. He referred to successful approaches and models of land consolidation, inter-cooperatives, and co-operatives that are being implemented across the country which enable people to benefit from the value of agricultural land. Drawing on this success, the Government is considering issuing a Decree to specify the above models and to form a “land fund bank”. In particular, market mechanisms such as insurance funds might strengthen the protection of land-use rights of farmers and businesses.
Minister Tran Hong Ha also pointed out that there were still problems and shortcomings in rural areas regarding waste disposal, wastewater treatment, environmental pollution in handcraft villages, and in industrial zones. Therefore, MONRE is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to prepare recommendations for the adjustment of rural infrastructure development plans.
National Assembly Deputies agreed on the urgent need for action, calling for a “more comprehensive approach” towards environmental and climate change issues in general. Discussing two laws on dykes and prevention of natural disasters, Nguyễn Lâm Thành from the Lạng Sơn Province delegation suggested that the two laws should be combined into one “Law on prevention of natural disasters and climate change adaption,” to ensure a more holistic approach.