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“Don’t Be Afraid” revolves around an appalling marine life disaster that took place along the coast of central Vietnam, commonly referred to as the Formosa disaster, whose aftermaths are still affecting millions of lives.

In March 16, 2019 Green Trees organization officially released a documentary called Don't Afraid - this is the first film about the civil society movement in Vietnam. Through the terrible environmental disaster along the central coast of Vietnam with the name Formosa, The film redraws a picture of the democracy movement movement from 2006 up to now. Highlight the role of civil society in life.

From 2006 until now, there have been hundreds of protesters, activists, fighting for sovereignty over the islands and human rights and the right to operate of civil society organizations in Vietnam. beating, fishing, imprisoning. However, that still does not make the fighters falter. The Formosa event was a great boost to the democracy movement in Vietnam. Those who aspire to democracy have officially overcome their fears, stand up and exercise their rights. Whatever position in society, they still find themselves in need of standing up together for justice, for the truth.

Our goals with the film
1. To provide the Vietnamese and international public with an insight into the Formosa disaster, including its causes and consequences, and the compensation policy thereafter. To keep the next generation informed of a terrible environmental disaster that creates a gloomy chapter in the nation’s history book;

2. To make a sketch of the democratization process in Vietnam from 2006 up to the present, so that the great self-sacrifice by passionate people would be known and their families’ pain eased. It was those people who paid a high price with their blood, liberty, even life, for Vietnam’s democracy.

3. To raise public awareness about the role of civil society. To encourage individuals and groups to overcome fear and build a strong civil society sector together, empowering people for a strong democracy in the future;

4. To seek support from international organizations in protecting the environment and human rights, building capacity for civil society to attain sustainable development in Vietnam. 

Photos taken during the afternoon event:

                                 Picture 1: Capture the guests participating in the event

                                  Picture 2: Dr. Quang A and Musician Nguyen Ngoc Dai

                                         Picture 3: Activist, blogger Nguyen Chi Tuyen

                          Picture 4: Member of Green Trees Hoang Thanh & Le Kien Cuong

                                       Picture 5: Member of Green Trees

                      Picture 6:  Member of Green Trees Thinh Nguyen and Le Kien Cuong

                                 Picture 7: Member of Green Trees - Dang Vu Luong

                              Picture 8: Musician Pho Duc Phuong shares about the film

                                       Picture 9: Dr. Nguyen Quang A shared about the film

                                        Picture 10: Musician Nguyen Ngoc Dai 

                                Picture 11: Member of Green Trees Tran Xuan Bach

                                           Picture 12: Singer Mai Khoi

Picture 13: Interview with guests' feelings

                                          Picture 14: Photo after the end of the event



When? When will government policies in Vietnam be discussed between the state and the people through peaceful and legally-recognized civil movements?

Formosa repeats it's hoax in Vietnamese seas

In order to handle the huge slag of up to millions of cubic meters in steel processing, Formosa Iron and Steel Company has completed the construction of a sea embankment system to deposit the slag waste. 

In Taiwan, after only five years of operation since the Formosa plant went into operation in 1998, a series of marine environmental disasters have devastated the entire ecosystem of animals. Five years later, cancer cases rose in the villages of Dai Tay, Dong The, Hong Bo, Tu Ho, Bao Trung, and Mach Lieu. 

Hundreds of thousands of protests in Taiwan have taken place demanding Formosa to clean up it's mess. With the ambition to not stop, Formosa has always sought ways to deceive and manipulate the public. The plant showcases a gallery of images and laboratories that showed effluent was standard and harmless to marine species. 

By the sea they built high concrete embankments, their propaganda is about promoting the effectiveness of the toxins from the garbage of the factory with the local people there. 

                      Photo: Capture embankments at the Taiwanese Formosa factory area (Sola)

A local resident said, "We do not believe in what Formosa says and do not believe in those embargoes. After more than 20 years of operation with embankments and promises, the Taiwan Sea is now muddy and stinky. " 

Formosa to expand it's steel plantation. Relying on the lax elements of environmental law and taking advantage of the money-changers, in which Formosa has a 70-year-old roots, it has decided to expand its operation to Vietnam. Formosa caused a catastrophe in Vietnam, the economy of the country was plagued by a massive loss of marine revenue and the unemployment of millions of people. The Vietnamese people are once again shocked to hear that Formosa built the embankments to encroach the slag produced by it's steel plantation amounting to tens of millions of tons. 

Again, their promises are no different from Taiwan: "This slag deposit is based on the technology that has been successfully used in the world, ensuring zero pollution to the sea environment. This beach encroachment is constructed with concrete dams and surrounding water filters, and rain water can not be drained through the sluice dike to a height of over 6 meters."

Mr Hoang Van Thuc, Deputy Director General of the Environment Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said: "I wish that the public would have a more generous view of Formosa and would believe in the responsibility of the authorities within the company. In the case of Formosa, there is a lot of garbage, so much waste and ordinary waste to be checked and inspected to prevent any further violations." 

But the faith that the people of Viet Nam in it's offcials has gradually declined, so it is harder to ask for the public to believe in Formosa. The problem now is not that Vietnamese officials like Thuc called on the people to believe in Formosa, the people just need to look at Formosa's 20 year history in Taiwan to feel overwhelmed with the scams and lies by the company itself. It is time for the ministries and the Government of Vietnam to be alert and not make any decisions that will destroy the environment, destroy the people, and go against the expectations of the people.

Green Trees ( Sola )
Translated by: Chris

Formosa and Vinh Tan Coal Power consider the sea of Vietnam as a landfill

Is the sea a public landfill so that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment can allow the Vinh Tan Thermo Power, to pour 1.5 million m3 of sludge into the sea of ​​Tuy Phong, near Hon Cau Marine Reserve?

The sea is an integral part of human life, all around the world, NGOs are racing to come up with solutions that seek to clean the sea or preserve rare marine species. In Vietnam, the people are still trying to cope with the incident caused by Formosa, and now more information about the 1.5 million m3 of mud licensed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Into the sea Tuy Phong are adding to the people's concerns. 

The sea is also the source of the lives of tens of millions of fishermen. Not to mention the marine economic strategy of the Communist Party of Vietnam determined that by 2020, the marine economy will contribute more than 50% of GDP in the country. The coastline of Vietnam is 3,260 km, ranks 32nd out of 156 coastal countries. The coastal length is only medium, but in return Vietnam has many beautiful beaches which can stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world. Since the renovation, Vietnam's tourism has grown with it's main tourist attraction being the sea. 

For many reasons, but especially because of poverty, the Vietnamese sea was abused. For now, the sea is a waste dump of boats and coastal residents, silently aching, from year to year. Recently, the sea was in pain and many people called it the "dead sea" because of the industrial waste being dumped into it. The dump not only contained conventional waste, which is easy to disintegrate, but as well as all toxic chemicals which destroy the environment. The death of the sea, it's sea creatures, and human life extinction, are some of the conceived as probable consequences. 

In September 2016, I had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan and my curiosity to learn about the Formosa plant inspired me to study more about it. Strangely, "Formosa," which means "beautiful", has become a symbol of death. Formosa in Taiwan pollutes in Taichung, during more than 20 years of existence it completely disappeared the river Tac Thuy by absorbing it's water to cool the factory. Where people used to catch fish and make their living , now is only a long grassland. Due to rising deaths from cancer, many villages in Taichung are now abandoned. 

After the newly formed Taiwanese government, which is in Formosa's manipulative hands, could not cover it up, Formosa was forced to compensate $ 650 per person per month for it's tens of thousands of polluted residents. Still not abandoning it's ambition and being unable to expand to Kaohsiung as the company expected, (because the Taiwanese government vehemently opposed it) Formosa extended like an octopus into Ha Tinh, Vietnam. 

Ha Tinh sea and it's surrounding area, according to many experts, will cause the whole ecosystem of the central sea area to be severely damaged. In the next few years it may be restored. According to a brief report of Dan Viet and Saigon Giai Phong, the coral reefs in the waters of Quang Binh were completely destroyed. There is no scientific guarantee that the sea and it's marine life is safe for consumption, except for the unfounded statements made by some leaders such as Truong Hoa Binh and Mai Tien Dung. 

Visitors to most of the tourist destinations in Vietnam are no longer Western tourists but local ones. They questioned those who allowed Formosa to discharge waste materials because the government turned a blind eye in ensuring whether the waste materials were toxic or not. Why not invite an independent agency on international environment to ensure impartiality and accuracy? Why do big environmental organizations such as Green Peace want to operate in Vietnam but is having a hard time to do so because of unwelcoming conditions in licensing? 

Those who love the sea are still suffering the pain caused by Formosa last year, but this new issue added a stab in the heart caused by Vinh Tan in Tuy Phong, Binh Thuan. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment allowed to pour 1.5 million cubic meters of sludge into the sea of ​​Tuy Phong, near Hon Cau marine life reserve. Again, the government is meticulous in using a more appealing word "material" rather than sludge. If so, why do we need to dump the "material" into the sea? If they are truly harmless, we can dispose them to other islands instead. Hon Cau island, also known as Cu Lao Cau, is only 10 km from the coast, one of the 16 marine reserves of Vietnam. This island is uninhabited and one of the most beautiful waters of Vietnam. The "materials" can be caught by hand with rudimentary equipment. 

Remember, the new Vinh Tan 1 is only the first factory, but it has already poured 1.5 million cubic meters of sludge into the sea. It not only destroys the environment, but also changes ecosystems and trans-shipping lanes. Vinh Tan has four factories, three of which are Chinese general contractors and one factory. Previously, although not operated, Vinh Tan has been protested by fishermen in Tuy Phong many times because the slag contaminated the living environment. The sludge discharged ashore was horrible and could not processed as it fell into the sea. The sea was dying and the people were rising up. Instead of coal-fired thermal power, why not wind power or solar power which is the strength of the land. 

People sense that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, being the governing body of Vietnam's living environment, is doing the opposite of its function. The department's disciplinary imposition in the Formosan case are not sufficiently upheld. If all the people in the whole country agree on the proposal of the Prime Minister to stop the Vinh Tan coal power plant and the dumping of toxic waste into the sea, then surely we will save the sea successfully. True scientists and those who love the sea come together to voice their concerns to stop the destruction of the environment. Damage to money can be offset but the offsetting of our natural habitat is not possible. We must not be late,we must do our best for the human conscience.

Green Trees ( Sola )
Translated by: Chris

Nuclear waste is dangerous

We are concerned about the amount of waste and how nuclear waste is treated when operating a power plant. But we seem to be ignorant with the fact that they are radioactive and it's waste is hazardous. 

After burning 4-5% of the U-235 isotope, a small fraction of U-238 is metabolized, the fuel rod after use has more than 90% U-238, the rest are fission products. 

All of them remain in the fuel rod, which is brought out and put into the reservoir for 2-3 years before it is transported to storage. Once removed from the reactor, two radioactive layers, including the "circulation loop" and the "storage house" have been lost, so that the fuel is still counted as an anti-radiation layer. What is a fission product? In the thousands of fuel rods disposed, are there no bars leaking? 

The answers to these questions are only probability-related. The radiation level of the spent fuel rod is several times higher than that of the new fuel rod, which proves that fission products are radioactive (also partially stable). Especially produced fission products in the gas, accumulating and compressing inside the closed fuel rod. The spent fuel rods still emit 5-7% more residual heat compared to those in the reactor and are decreased over time, requiring refrigeration. There is the probability that some of the radioactive materials that emit the neutron primer for the remaining fission in the fuel rods of U-238 / Pu-239 are horrible. 

Then the spent fuel was separated from the fuel rod, boxed and put into a silo for about 50 years. Another idea is to throw these emissions into space, or the sun, which in itself is the source of gamma rays. But it's a wasteful idea knowing that the U-238's neutron generation can still be used, and uranium mining is not easy. The process of nuclear waste recycling requires a high level of education and costs, depending on the countries and their safety standards. 

Currently, only Russia has a full line of closed systems from fuel extraction> fuel production> power generation> treatment> recycling> and nuclear material reuse. 

So how many nuclear power plants each year? 

Each unit with a VVER 1000/1200 reactor with a capacity of 1000MW / 1200MW has 163 fuel bundles, each bundle has 312 fuel rods (corresponding to 505 kg / 530 kg uranium). Every year (after 7,000 operating hours) the unit replaces one third of the fuel bundle. 

So each year a unit generates 54 to 55 fuel bundles, corresponding to 27.3 to 29.2 tons of waste (of which more than 90% is U-238 can be re-used if there is enough technology). The volume of waste taken out of the fuel rod is only about 45-50% of this volume. 

Affected nature factors and expensive lessons from Fukushima 
Looking back 6 years ago (03/2011 - 03/2017) on the earthquake and the tsunami disaster in Sendai coastal city, Fukushima prefecture. This magnitude 9 earthquake led to the 39-meter-high tsunami disaster off Japan's Tohoku coast left more than 16,000 dead, over 6,000 injured in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima provinces, about 2,600 people missing, and nearly 200,000 people homeless. Although the Japanese strongly re-established the country, progress was not as fast as the government's initial plan. 

According to the latest statistics of the Government of Japan, more than 3,400 survivors of the 2011 disaster have died of health-related disasters. Fukushima Prefecture accounts for 58%. 

The consequences of radioactive leakage 
The March 11 earthquake also caused a double disaster when tsunamis destroyed three of the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima plant, causing radiation to spread out, forcing more than 160,000 people who live within an 18 mile radius around the factory evacuate. Nearly 250,000 people still live in temporary houses, while hundreds of square kilometers of agricultural, forestry and village land are left vacant due to the effects of radiation. The surrounding countryside is filled with radiation-filled radioactive plastic bags packed into mountains. 

The level of radiation around the Fukushima nuclear power plant is 10 times higher than normal. A number of villages and towns are closed, despite large-scale clean-up efforts. Japanese officials said that the recovery process in the worst affected area was very slow. Especially in Iitate Village, Fukushima Prefecture. Initially, the village chief said that people did not have to fear radiation because they were 19 miles from Fukushima nuclear power plant, however, several days later, the entire evacuation order was issued when the radiation index increased. Now, villagers are only allowed to go home during the day, but do not stay overnight or permanently move back. Previously the village has more than 6,000 people, but now only a few hundred people returned to the village during the day. 

Mr. Muneo Kanno, who owns a farm in Iitate Village, now head of the volunteer radioactive monitoring group, said: "The scene in the village is now gloomy. At night, the village is without lights, during the day, monkeys and wild pigs wander in the village."

The latest assessment by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan says that the pollution treatment (including cleanup of radioactive substances) following the 11 March 2011 nuclear disaster, is still taking place in many cities. The NHK television report shows that, out of the 43 cities in Fukushima Prefecture, only 14 cities are completely clean. 

Currently, the remediation of the No. 1 Fukushima nuclear power plant is still at its earliest stages. They estimated it would take more than thirty or forty years to complete the workload. Three former executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), along with the factory owner, have been charged with irresponsibility in ensuring safeguards to prevent the nuclear disaster in 2011. 

Flooded radioactive contaminated water 
The earthquake and tsunami disaster that occurred in March 2011 damaged the reactor cooling system at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant. Tokyo Electric Power Company pumped seawater into it's cooling system, this resulted to the reactors,storing contaminated water into the plant. Nearly 800,000 tons of contaminated water is stored in more than 1,000 basins at the Fukushima plant, which has no treatment plans.

According to Kyodo news agency, in one hour, a puddle of radiation capable of radiating up to 100 millisieverts. "100 millisieverts per hour is equivalent to a high level of radiation in which direct exposure to the workers in the nuclear industry, would make them suffer for five years," said Masayuki Ono, chief executive of TEPCO. 

There is a group of workers surrounded by a leaky basin trying to block and suck the water out of the sandbags. BBC correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes said: "It is hard work and dangerous." 

Effects of radiation on animals and plants 
The impact of atomic radiation is not only harmful to humans, but also affects plants and animals. In one study, zoologists examined 61 monkeys living about 70 km away from the site of the radioactive leak and 31 monkeys living on the Shimokita Peninsula about 400 km away. The results showed that the monkeys in the first location were found to be positive for Caesium (a chemical element in the periodic table with the symbol Cs), concentration in the soil and at their lips. 

Japanese monkeys have a habit of bathing in hot springs, eating tree tops and bark where Caesium can accumulate at high concentrations during winter. Blood abnormalities can make them susceptible to infectious diseases. The monkeys living in areas affected by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant have a high number of red blood cells and white blood cells with marked hemoglobin (hemoglobin) levels. This study was conducted for monkeys, however its results will put a strong pressure on Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Earlier this year, a fish was caught carrying 2.58 times as much radioactive Caesium as possible for any seafood in the bay near the main Fukukshima plant. Another report also found that, until now, the amount of radiation absorbed by fish caught off the coast of Fukushima has not decreased.

A Korean website also posted a series of pictures of dehydrated fruits and vegetables with the comment that they were the product of the Fukushima disaster. 

It can be said that the catastrophic radiation leakage at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 has caused long-lasting consequences. In addition, people, animals, and plants in the affected area by radioactivity also varied abnormally

Green Trees ( Fb Cao Vinh Thinh )

Formosa disaster, one year look back - Part 2


                                                                      Picture: APP

1. Slow process of compensation, met with many objections of people 

On June 30 2016, the government announced that it would receive $ 500 million in compensation from Formosa to pay for its residents in August. By September last year, the government said it would complete the compensation in October. This promise was moved to June 2017. On 11/10/2016, the Ministry of Finance said it had transferred 300 million USD to compensate the local people. On 8/2/2017, the Ministry of Finance forwarded 168 billion VND to the second phase. Total spent 4680 billion VND out of 11.5 billion VND received from Formosa. 

After the catastrophe that took place in April, the government received compensation money by June, but when 29/09/2016 came, the compensation was not released to the people. However, many are missing out on the real damage. By March 9, 1977, only one of the subjects was added to the Prime Minister's Decision No. 309. The mainstream media reported that people are excited and agreed with the government's compensation decision. But in fact, almost all locals have complaints because they think the compensation process is too slow and unfair. A handful of online articles were posted but shortly thereafter was deleted from the homepage. There is an underlying directive on limiting negative news about this process. 

In Ha Tinh, the authorities have reported to release more than VND1 trillion in compensation to the people, but in the communal, district, and provincial administrative agencies people are demanding money every day. Dang Quoc Khanh's home, Chairman of the provincial People's Committee and Dang Ngoc Son, vice chairman, were frequently complained of by the residents. The complaint status is still central when Dang Ngoc Son has to travel to Hanoi several times to negotiate the proposal. Many people in some places have repeatedly organized demonstrations related to compensation. In particular, many demonstrations in places such as Ky Anh (Ha Tinh), Quang Trach, Ba Don (Quang Binh), ... have repeatedly blocked traffic on the Highway for many hours. On April 3, 1977, the demonstrators also occupy the headquarters of Loc Ha District People's Committee when district officials did not appear to respond to their requests. Other provinces have similar situations. It was a real chaos on a stretch of several hundred kilometers of coastline. 

2. The cause of the condition of the people respond to the compensation process 

First, is the delay, shortcomings in the decision issued from the Central. Receiving money from the end of June but September 29, the new Prime Minister issued a decision 1880 compensation compensation limit. However, many real damage objects and great value were ignored; Such as seafood restaurants, hotels, resorts. 3/7 of the victims in this 1880 decision do not have a specific amount. On March 9, 1977, Secretary Truong Hoa Binh signed Decision No. 309 supplementing only one subject is irregular coastal labor, with a norm of 1,405 thousand per month and restaurants and hotels are only compensated. Labor, other damages are not compensated. At the same time, these decisions specify that only communes and wards are entitled to compensation; Neighborhood communes, no matter how much damage is ignored. Owner of Hai Duong restaurant, chapter on Ho Do bridge (Thach Ha district, Ha Tinh city) said that in 2015 they pay tax nearly 500 million, but now suffer heavy losses without compensation. The calculation of compensation amounts in many cases is confusing, complicated and beyond the capacity of local officials. 

Second, the compensation amount is not enough compared to the current loss of the people and only compensated within 6 months, from 4-9 / 2016, the next time damage is not paid attention. Seafood traders and traders claim that their actual income in the absence of disaster is many times greater than the figure of 2 910 thousand per month. Similarly, owners of fishing vessels and fishermen claim that their income is enough to support their family, which is higher than the amount of 3,690,000 VND per month as compensation. At present, many fishermen have quit their job to do other jobs because the current seafood price is too low, can not continue to work. Many other industries, such as aquaculture or services, must continue to be suspended or damp indefinitely. 

Third, at the local level, the level of cadres restriction and bureaucratic work habits, lack of transparency. According to the Ministry of Agriculture's guidelines on injury claims, each hamlet has a public evaluation and appraisal panel. However, with limited level and type of authority, culture familiarity many people cause urgent. Specifically, there was a village chief in Thach Kim, Loc Ha, Ha Tinh who was thrown into the house by the problem. When the dossier is declared by the commune or district level, many cases are removed from the compensation list without notification of the reasons. People in Ky Phuong and Ky Nam and Ky Anh communes repeatedly blocked National Highway 1A to protest because when listing the compensation list, they were accidentally stripped of their name and the village or village supervisor was not. Asked what the reason is. People's perceptions are heightened when the capacity for local dialogue is weak. People are questioned by the authorities, officials are responsible for avoiding and rarely responding to requests from the public. 

Fourth, from the people, there are still many cases of false declaration and limited knowledge. Some newspapers have reported support from village officials, so there are some cases where melon traders in the market are still compensated while labor related to the sea is not. This contradiction and lawsuit are complex. Many people claim rights without access to the relevant documents, resulting in poor reception by the receivers. In fact, many of the communal cadres, when people make the Decision 1880, claim that they do not know this document. This does not understand the reason for the weakness, neglect of the local level or other reason, but currently the Decision is supplemented by 309, an important decision regarding compensation does not exist at the Gates. Government electronic information while other documents are available. 

3. The solution to the problem of compensation 

It must be asserted that $ 500 million is too little compared to current and future actual losses. The government must admit this is a mistake because it automatically received money without a quantitative assessment as well as consultations from people and experts. One of the main causes of the slow, chaotic compensation process is now rooted in the government. However, the capacity of local administrators can not be changed immediately. It is impossible to claim more compensation from Formosa. 

The working habit of a totalitarian government is to always solve the problem on its own, such as getting $ 500 million in compensation without the people being consulted. The government must really recognize the problem and call for social participation in paying compensation from Formosa. First, there must be a transparent, independent monitoring mechanism for reporting damages. In addition to party organizations such as local associations, the involvement of civil society in monitoring and supporting the compensation process. At present, this participation is not encouraged nor restricted. For example, few law offices in Ha Tinh province dare to receive the claim of the people because of the concern of the authorities inquiring, and harassing. Licensed civil society organizations also forsake this confused central land strip. Unlicensed civil society organizations are badly sanctioned by the authorities and strictly prohibited. 

In addition, the government must also consider issuing full payment schemes, directing and assigning personnel directly involved in this compensation. The instructions are flawed, ambiguous but with limited local qualifications beyond their capabilities. The problem of compensation now is like a spring that compresses the frustrations of the people with their almost overwhelming livelihood problems. 

The government has made too many mistakes in the Formosa case, from licensing, monitoring to negotiating compensation payments. The opportunity to show their worth to the people through fair compensation can be their last chance. Once they have lost the faith of the people and become a terrible force in their eyes, the consequences they face will not be are not small. The compression of the springs of suffering, the tears and the suffering of millions of people in Central Vietnam, which suffer from many losses, natural disasters and poverty, once they are unstoppable is difficult to resist

Green Trees ( FB. Trinh Anh Tuan)

Formosa disaster, one year look back - Part 1


                                                            Picture: VietBest

1. Environment after the disaster

According to many experts, this environmental disaster will cause the whole ecosystem of the central sea area to be severely damaged and it will take several dozen to hundreds of years to recover. According to a brief report of Dan Viet and Saigon Giai Phong, coral reefs in the waters of Quang Binh were completely destroyed. There is no scientific guarantee that the sea is safe except for the unfounded statements made by some leaders such as Truong Hoa Binh and Mai Tien Dung. Repeatedly, there are suspicious red marks appearing around the Vung Ang area near Formosa. In an independent study, the Green Trees, an environmental group, issued a test of seawater from the Ky Ha seashore in Kyushu in February 1974, indicating toxicity is very dangerous. Most recently, on 4/4/2017, a suspicious reddish patch of water appeared at the Vung Ang jetty just in time for a central environmental inspection mission in Formosa.

As soon as receiving compensation from Formosa, the government announced that it would use the proceeds to clean the sea. However, a year has elapsed, and no information has been confirmed that the government has taken steps to restore the marine environment.

The handling of dead fish at the coast as well as the handling of thousands of tons of contaminated seafood in frozen warehouses is also extremely weak. Hundreds of tons of dead fish are buried only through manual methods. Most of the contaminated seafood is not destroyed properly and scientifically. According to an article in Dan Tri and the Solidarity, hundreds of tons of jellyfish stored in frozen warehouses in Thach Kim and Thach Bang communes are now smelly, but the authorities still do not guide and assist people to destroy it safely. These damaged jellyfish is smelly, affecting the health and morale of the local people.

The fishermen also confirmed that the number of fish and shrimp in the sea they catch has decreased significantly compared to the previous year. There is no specific research report on this issue, but with the number of dead fish not only washed ashore last year but also died in the seabed, the decline is highly likely.

After a year had gone by, environmental hazards have not only not been resolved, but fears continue as Formosa continues to operate. As expected, when put into production, the amount of waste pouring into the environment will be many times greater than the test run polluting in 2016.

2. Economy

As reported by the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on December 28, 2012, the Formosa disaster damaged 0.3% of GDP. With $ 200 billion in GDP in 2016, the overall damage to the national economy last year was $ 600 million, more than the amount of government compensation received from Formosa. Earlier, in July 2016, the government announced preliminary damage to the disaster with more than 200,000 workers and 17 600 fishing vessels affected; 9 million shrimp seed died; Tourism production is less than 50%, many places only 10-20%, ...

Provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Nghe An all reported their own damage with very large numbers. In the report at the People's Council meeting, Dang Quoc Khanh, Chairman of Ha Tinh People's Committee announced that GDP growth was at -17.06%. For a province where budget revenues in 2015 are more than $ 10 trillion, this is a catastrophic figure. The growth rate of Quang Binh was only 4.2% against the target of 8%. For Quang Tri, the report put forward a monthly loss of 98 billion VND. Thua Thien Hue reported a loss of 988.5 billion VND. Nghe An, a province not compensated by the Government Decision, also proposed a VND 415 billion support.

At present, with the concern about food safety and hygiene, the price of aquatic products compared to previous year, only ½ makes the profit from fishing and aquaculture while tourism and sea trade is still in a very poor condition. Other marine related professions also continue to be affected. According to preliminary statistics, the number of unemployed is 40,000 people, of which Ha Tinh is 24,500 people. The government intends to send the population to work abroad. However, the export of labor is difficult because many labor export markets such as Korea and Taiwan are limited because of the high number of export laborers who stay away. Therefore, people seek to cross Laos and Thailand labor underground. State media reported that by the beginning of 2017, the number of people in Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces who flocked to acquire passports have increased, numbering to more than 500 people per day per province.
The economic impact of the Formosan catastrophe will not only take place in 2016, but will inevitably affect the next few years. The socio-economic reports of the central provinces and the country in the quarter 1/2017 compared with the same period last year were down sharply.

3. Politics

It is clear that the Formosa disaster was caused by the management, licensing, and operation of the central and local government. However, the lack of transparency and ignorance, together with the mishandling of personal delinquency caused delays showed signs of protection, has led to the belief towards the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

The disaster started in early April last year, with much information from the people and the press. On April 12, Dang Ngoc Son told the press that eating fish is still safe while in the midst of the mass death of the fishes. On April 27, 2016, Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, responded that the cause of the mass death of the fish was due to red tide. On April 28, Chu Xuan Pham, Deputy Director of External Relations of Formosa Ha Tinh, answered Lan Anh, VTC14 reporter saying "Picking steel or picking fish?" These two events have caused public outrage. A series of protests took place in Hanoi, Saigon, and Nghe An. To make matters worse, these protests were faced with drastic repression in Hanoi and Saigon. Instead of focusing on Formosa, protesters rushed in reaction to the government as they said the government was lacking transparency in dealing with disasters and covering up Formosa.

On June 30, 2016, the government announced that the main culprit was Formosa Ha Tinh, which had polluted the ocean.

At the same time, the government claimed to receive $ 500 million in compensation from Formosa. This statement has made the public outraged again because they think that the disaster settlement cost would be at least several hundred billion dollars and the amount of $ 500 million is too little. This response is well founded when Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's year-end report shows that the disaster has lost 0.3% of GPD. With about $ 200 billion in GDP in 2016, the annual loss of $ 600 million is greater than the amount received by the government from Formosa. At the same time, not to mention the amount of compensation for the people, the administrative costs to serve the compensation process, the cost of cleaning the sea as well as the damage continues for the following years. The $ 500 million received by the government from Formosa became an offensive topic and talk from the public when the government did not take into account the entire damage as well as the consultation of the people and the experts. People became skeptical about the state's ability to lead when it received too little money for a serious law offense, then commits little of it, and then brushes away responsibility.

After receiving money from Formosa, the government announced that it would complete the compensation for residents in August 2016. However, the promise was moved to October, then December, and now the promise continues to 6/2017. The process of compensation is very slow and people in many places claim that the compensation is unfair causing chaos to local villages. A series of continuous protests have been held continuously since October until 4/2017. People quickly and promptly demanded compensation in Quang Trach (Quang Binh), Ky Lo, Ky Ha, Ky Phuong, Ky Nam (Ky Anh district, Ha Tinh). Many times stalled for several hours. The commune, district and provincial administrative organs are almost gathering people for compensation every day. The situation is so serious that Dang Ngoc Son, vice chairman of Ha Tinh province, had to issue a written request and blame the district and commune for not allowing people to pull up the PPC for money. However, complaints and grievances have not diminished despite the fact that the local media reported that people agreed with the compensation. On 3/4/2017, thousands of people in Thach Bang and Thach Kim communes (Loc Ha district, Ha Tinh province) took over Loc Ha district People's Committee to claim compensation. That same day, people in Ky Phuong, Ky Nam (TX Ky Anh) protested and blocked traffic on Highway 1A for over 6 hours in Deo Con area, Ky Anh. Meanwhile, the opposition who are complaining about the compensation will continue to increase because of the inability of the administration to handle a dialogue with the local people.

Meanwhile, Nghe An, a province not included in the government compensation list, supports requests from the central level to the central government were not approved. Affected fishermen who received no compensation. Therefore, they initiated a lawsuit against Formosa Ha Tinh to the United States Courts in Texas where Formosa is located. However, the authorities sought not to accept this lawsuit. 506 of the people of An Hoa commune (Quynh Luu) were returned by the court for no good reason. More than 1,000 other residents in Quynh Ngoc, Quynh Tho and Son Hai communes (Quynh Luu) were arrested on the way to Ky Anh to file suits and were suppressed by the government.

The Formosa catastrophe had caused great economic losses, affecting the current and future environment; along with the lack of transparency, weakness and lack of respect for the people; coupled with the suspicion of a cover up, the political situation in the affected provinces became very unstable. The government has not made any specific disclosure of Formosa's 53 errors, which made suspicion increase. Never before has the ability to run and manage the government has been tarnished as severe as today. Indications for positive change will not exist as long as the authorities do not recognize their mistakes and until they initiate a thorough change in running the country today

Green Trees ( FB. Trinh Anh Tuan )

Demonstrate to protest Formosa company in Yuanlin Taiwan 10-6-2017

Source: Facebook Nguyen Tien Sy

Alert the environmental pollution of Bac Hung Hai river

Garbage pollutes Sai Thi River (in Bac Hung Hai river system) in Thuan Hung commune (Khoai Chau, Hung Yen).

According to readers, in recent times, the surface water pollution in the Bac Hung Hai irrigation system, through the territory of Hung Yen province, it has become more serious, adversely affecting agricultural production and People's life.

Prior to this situation, the authorities should soon find out the causes of pollution and severely deal with production facilities, factories discharge.

Bac Hung Hai river system (BHH) was built in 1958 with the total length of the main river system of 232 km and more than 2,000 km of canals of all kinds, mainly in Hung Yen, Hai Duong and Bac Ninh provinces. The water supply for the BHH system is taken from the Red River through Xuan Quan drainage, Van Giang district, Hung Yen province, for irrigation and drainage of about 110 thousand hectares of rice, cash crops and industrial crops; Water supply for livestock, fisheries and drinking water for people in the area. The BHH river system in Hung Yen province has main rivers and tributaries with a total length of more than 100 km, providing water for about 50,000 ha of cultivated land and aquaculture ponds.

The BHH system is built with the main purpose of supplying irrigation and drainage for agricultural production; However, in the process of developing urbanization and industrialization, the BHH river system now has to take over the function of receiving waste water from people, wastewater from production, business and service units and diseases, not to mention hospitals, craft villages, livestock facilities, and garbage.

In Hung Yen province, the total waste that is discharged into the environment is about 134,401 m3 / day , mainly discharged into BHH river and tributaries; Of which, wastewater from industrial parks, clusters and production, business and service establishments accounts for 28%; Wastewater from health facilities accounts for 2%; Wastewater from residential areas, craft villages, small production, business and service establishments, livestock establishments account for 70%. Most untreated or treated wastewater is not up to standards.

In addition, at the head of the BHH river is the polluted water, services, handicraft villages and people who along the Cau Bai river basin which runs through Long Bien, district and Gia Lam district. Interior) through Xuan Thuy drainage. This also causes the BHH river water source to be seriously polluted. Cau's river is black, often white effervescent discharge into the BHH river, with increasing frequency; Each week two to three times, each lasting one to two days.

Deputy Director of Hung Yen Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Dang Anh said that the main reason for the above situation is that the BHH river system has to receive more wastewater sources with higher volume, especially waste water that has not been treated properly. The BHH River system is often closed to store water, so the situation of stagnant water, not circulation, mainly in the dry season also contributes to pollution. The enforcement of the law on environmental protection has not been strict, lack of close coordination between provinces and cities in the management and treatment of water pollution discharge.

In response to this situation, Hung Yen has taken measures to prevent and minimize environmental pollution on the BHH river system as stipulated in the agreement, deploying a model for sorting and treating organic household wastes. Furthermore, the installation of automatic data acquisition system, and automatic monitoring device for wastewater treatment, provides an increase inspection and supervision of compliance Environmental protection regulations, dealing with acts that pollute the environment.

However, implementation of effective environmental protection solutions are not high; especially the prevention of water pollution from the Cau river to the BHH river system. Therefore, in order to deal with pollution and improve the water environment of the BHH river, it is necessary to take part in and coordinate with ministries, sectors and localities to renovate and upgrade the entire BHH. The function of irrigation and drainage for agricultural production now has the function of draining wastewater for industry and people in the industrialization and modernization of fast-growing areas.

Establishing an automatic monitoring network to assess the quality of irrigation water on the BHH river system and send these results to the provinces and cities within the BHH river system, to warn people, organizations and individuals involved in inter-agency activities. People must examine, evaluate and determine the cause of the contaminated water in Cau River; to intensify the inspection and examination according to its competence of the environmental protection, business and service establishments, especially establishments which generate large wastewater discharging into the river system. The early Investment, construction and operation of urban wastewater treatment works in Long Bien district in accordance with the plan of the Hanoi People's Committee on the development of urban waste water collection and treatment system.

The regulators exchange and share information on the situation of sources of discharge of wastewater into the river, and the quality of river water, and the measures already taken to overcome the pollution of river water.

"Bac Hung Hai river system in Hung Yen province has nine rivers and canals (25% of the total of rivers, canals and surveys are in Hung Yen province). 15 rivers have medium pollution channels In 2015 and 2016. After collecting 165 surface water samples, and analyzing 19 environmental indicators, the results showed that 100% of surface water samples had norms. The analysis exceeds all technical standards, in which many indicators exceeded national technical standards on the environment from several times to dozens of times ... ".
(Source: Hung Yen Department of Natural Resources and Environment)

"Bac Hung Hai river water is severely polluted affecting people's health, we think that the main reason is that some factories in the area discharge and polluteby products fromtheir factories. We are requesting the functional agencies to strictly treat enterprises who are deliberately violating the law on environmental protection.
(Nghia Tru commune, Van Lam district, Hung Yen province)

- Phạm Hà -

13,000 square meters of forest land allocated to the Yen Bai Natural Resource Director

On July 20, 2015, Mr. Nguyen Yen Hien, Vice Chairman of Yen Bai People's Committee signed the decision to convert more than 13,000 square meters forest land to residential land for Pham Sy Quy's family.

Decisions No. 2356, 2357, 2358, 2359, 2360 and 2361, declare a total area of 13,000 272 square meters of forest land into residential land.

On 02/6/2016, Nguyen Yen Hien himself signed the Decision No. 1639 / QD-UBND to convert 308 square meters for Mr. Quy's family.

In September, 2016, Pham Sy Quy was appointed as Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Yen Bai province. Photo Resource Resources Environment.

This abrupt decision, granting 6 Land Title Transfer Request in one day, adds 13,577 m2 to the family of the Director of the Department of Natural Resources, is an immense block of land in Minh Tan Ward.

The land titles are interestingly named under Mr. Quy's wife, Hoang Thi Hue, born in 1975, resident of 51, Minh Tan Ward, Yen Bai City.

The grounds that Vice Chairman of Yen Bai People's Committee based his decision on is the Decision No. 666 / QD-UBND dated 12/5/2014 of the People's Committee of Yen Bai province which allows "the approval of adjustment of regulations Land use planning up to 2020 and the 5 year land use plan (2011 - 2015) of Yen Bai city ".

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, where Mr Quy is the Director, is the lead agency that coordinates with other relevant agencies in making and adjusting the plan for land use of the region. 

The land of Mr. Quy's family, with works that many local people have admired, and praised. Photo of Hai Ninh

Decision No. 666 / QD-UBND dated 12/5/2014 of the People's Committee of Yen Bai province states the "Agency as the owner" and only mentions "people", not any specific family.

The "total projected area" is 2.98 hectares, of which 03 hectares is paddy land, while the rest is 2.68 hectares. The decision also specifies the time of implementation.

Thus, Mr. Quy's family went ahead of the "people" when in July 2015 they completed the conversion of the 2.68 hectares of "other land" that should've been allocated to the people but instead has been monopolized by the said official, which is more than 1.3 hectares (accounting for nearly 50%) of the area.

One of the proponents of these decisions is the Chief of Natural Resources and Environment of Yen Bai City which is Mr. Quy's subordinate.

In an interview conducted by the Vietnam Education Newspaper, Mr. Pham Sy Quy initially denied allegations of land grabbing.

"It's not my house. Why do I have so much land?" Mr. Quy said.

When asked whether: "His wife's name is Hoang Thi Hue and if she was born in 1975?, Mr. Quy again exclaimed: "Hue is my wife, but the land is not mine ...".

During the course of the interview,after the reporter presented "indisputable" evidence, the new Director of the Department of Natural Resources acknowledged that this was his family land and that he was himself "accountable" to the provincial leaders. .

On the same day, Mr. Nguyen Van Khanh, Vice Chairman of Yen Bai People's Committee confirmed that this is the family land of Mr. Pham Sy Quy, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

"I have learned this and the province is also asking the People's Committee of Yen Bai City and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to clarify the process and procedures for conversion. The province is also asking Mr. Quy to explain the report ... "Khanh said.

Vietnam's Education Newspaper correspondent also worked with Mr. Do Duc Duy, the Chairman of People's Committee of Yen Bai province. Although he was aware of the content that the media was verifying, Mr. Duy refused to speak and instructed reporters to speak with the provincial chief instead. "The fact is that Mr. Pham Sy Quy, Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Yen Bai Province, "overtook" more than 13,000 square meters of forest land and fishery land and converted them to residential land for the construction of large-scale structures was acceptable? Who is standing out shielding, let the authorities and individuals do so?

On 09/9/2016, Pham Sy Quy (b. 1971) was succeeded by Pham Thi Thanh Tra, now president of the People's Committee of Yen Bai Province (now Tra is the Secretary of the Yen Bai Provincial Party Committee). Appointed as Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Pham Thi Thanh Tra said in the press that her appointment of Mr. Quy was a statutory act in the position she was in, not an individual decision. "The appointment process is extremely tight, nothing to call love in this case," Tra said.

- Hai Ninh -

Formosa the heart of the Vietnamese people

The national catastrophe of environmental pollution has been evidenced by the mass death in the central coastal provinces. Scientists believe that this is the result of decades of economic development at which downplayed the destruction of the environment.
Shield and suppress people

While highly polluted factories, such as minerals, metallurgy, coal power, and chemicals, are strictly controlled and ostracized throughout the world, Vietnam welcomes them. When disaster strikes, people denounced their violations, the government shielded the big companies and suppressed the people. The current development policy is focused on investment despite the heavy and long-lasting impact on posterity through the environment.

Formosa Steel Plant is a worldwide large-scale project, with a starting capacity of 7.5 million tons per year and a capital of US $ 15 billion, ranking itself 18th in comparison with Steel production capacity of countries in the world. When they started production, they discharged their wastewater into the Ha Tinh sea, causing a catastrophe spreading over 200 km of Trung Viet coast a year ago. Formosa Company has accepted the mistake and agreed with the Vietnamese government to compensate 500 million USD, although experts assess damage can be a hundred times higher.

So far, the marine environment has not recuperated, the sea produce is still unsafe, and the complaints of the people are not being tried by the court. The government has recently looked at 50 years or more for new hope of recovery and has examined Formosa forcing them to rectify any mistakes before they continue operation. Formosa has recently overstated 52 out of 53 violations, although Formosa has not completed yet, allowing Formosa to go back into operation.

Formosa has a deliberate criminal offense, for silently replacing the stamping technique (extinguishing and cooling) instead of using dry inert gas to convert to wet water to increase its profit. It's a shameful fraud because pollution from wetting techniques is two to three times higher than dry technology and is 20% less steel output. Pollution helped Formosa increase profit, but the population paid the price with their health, reducing their life expectancy worsen their living condition.
There is no sense of responsibility.

                    The scene where the explosion occurred at the No. 1 kiln of Formosa Company

After the sea environment disaster last year, residents expect the government and Formosa to review their entire operation process and plant design to ensure that the outdated plant pollution is under control in every situation. But neither Formosa nor the authorities have the capacity, expertise, and sense of responsibility to anticipate and deal with this polluted factory. Only one day after the solemn commencement of the operation, a fire broke out and the explosion can be heard from three kilometers away.

The work did not stop there, as the authorities investigated and concluded that the dust filter in the lime kiln was ruptured, and the lime kiln was abnormal. This explanation is completely non-scientific and offers an inadequate shield.

The image above shows the place where the fire broke out but there was no trace of smoke and burning dust sticking to it. Lime is not combustible, lime dust is not included in the dust list. The image of smoke rising from the flames of the factory is the evidence of the burning reaction of high-heat fuel. Thus, lime kilns are not the only suspect; Fuel injections, human error, or design or contractor mistakes.

The lime-fire extinguishing hypothesis is antithetical to reject, the coal dust hypothesis is most reliable because the cooking process requires both lime and coal at the plant. Indeed, coal is highly combustible. If the coal dust is absorbed into the lime dust filter system when the coal concentration is 60 g / m3 and the ignition sources reach the temperature at 540 C, it will be plausible for it to explode.

The second reliable hypothesis is that when power supply systems in the plant are have not met safety standards. If flammable gas is used with a normal electrical appliance, it will ignite and cause a fire.

Is Formosa's Environmental problems solvable? Not for the following reasons:

1. The price for additional environmentally sound investment is no longer economically viable. Currently, the world steel market only produces half of the steel plants' full capacity. No investor would spend hundreds of millions more to protect the environment.

2. Lack of technical skill and know how. Due to the lack of professional and formal knowledge of Formosa, the government cannot afford to anticipate and solve its complex technical problems.

3. Vietnam's Judicial system is not an independent arm of the government so it can not make a stand alone decision between the government and enterprises. That's why negotiating with the government is the quickest, easiest, and least costly solution for a business like the $ 500 million deal last year.

4. There is still a strong bond and belief between China and Vietnam due to the "16 Golden Words" which binds the 2 countries into a covenant.

Household guests will not throw their garbage inside a house unless they have been invited to bring those garbage in. In the same way, our country knows that if the four hindrances mentioned above have been overcome, this country will return to a sustainable road map in which the government will be welcomed by 90 million people.

- Pham Phan Long- RFA