By Mai Hoang
ST. PAUL, Minn. (May 28, 2011) – The threat to the environment and controlling contamination of the air, land and water is the paramount issue facing the health and livelihood of people in Vietnam today. This issue is not isolated to Vietnam, but is connected abroad to Southeast Asia and all the way to the source of water in the mountains of Tibet. It is also spread with the manufacturing and source items of food products.
In connection with Asian Heritage Month this May, the Vietnamese Community of Minnesota offered a special conference last Saturday at the Vietnam Center in St. Paul. A number of Vietnamese community gathered to listen to a presentation and discussion on a variety of environmental issues facing Vietnam.
Mai Thanh Truyet, Ph.D., an environmentalist and president of the Science and Technology Association, and a specialist on water waste treatment in California, brought a PowerPoint presentation, and copies of his book that are based on his research on Vietnam’s issues with food, agriculture, the environment, water, wastewater and pollution.
Dr. Mai explained that the Chinese government had built many dams and that it has impacted Vietnam with water shortages from the Mekong River to the lower land of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The seawater now is absorbing the farming land and rivers of Vietnam that reduces resource for humans, animals and vegetation.
In the area of solid waste, he said that the two common approaches applied in Vietnam now are to bury the solid waste in the ground and to use the process of bio-degradation. They are not safe and less effected. He also cautioned the audience about the importation of disposed materials from other counties to recycle may make Vietnam as a dumping site of the world.
A number of pollution topics were presented and a focus on the food products seemed to intrigue the audience which as several questions following the presentation with discussion and suggestion.