Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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
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